What active role does the assembly take in the Tridentine Mass?

A debate started in another thread, off its main topic: does the lay assembly (those other than the choir or servers) have a particular role in the Tridentine Mass, specifically as celebrated according to the 1962 Missal? In a Solemn Mass or High Mass, especially, does the presence of the people make a difference to the rite?

I have probably gone to 15 Tridentine Masses over the years, most of them Low, but some High/Solemn, and one Pontifical Mass. That is a tiny fraction of the Novus Ordo Masses I have attended, and I claim no expertise in the Tridentine Mass. The point of this post is to encourage debate on the issue. To facilitate that, I have cited some texts below, and proposed some hypotheses for discussion.

First, Wikipedia’s note on Participation by the People in the Tridentine Mass

The participation of the congregation at the Tridentine Mass is interior, involving eye and heart, and exterior by mouth.

Except in the Dialogue Mass form, which arose about 1910 and led to a more active exterior participation of the congregation, the people present at the Tridentine Mass do not recite out loud the prayers of the Mass. Only the server or servers join with the priest in reciting the prayers at the foot of the altar (which include the Confiteor) and in speaking the other responses. Most of the prayers that the priest says are spoken inaudibly, including almost all the Mass of the Faithful: the offertory prayers, the Canon of the Mass (except for the preface and the final doxology), and (apart from the Agnus Dei) those between the Lord’s Prayer and the postcommunion.

At a Solemn Mass or Missa Cantata, a choir sings the servers’ responses, except for the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. The choir sings the Introit, the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Gradual, the Tract or Alleluia, the Credo, the Offertory and Communion antiphons, the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei. Of these, only the five that form part of the Ordinary of the Mass are usually sung at a Missa Cantata. In addition to the Gregorian Chant music for these, polyphonic compositions exist, some quite elaborate. The priest largely says quietly the words of the chants and then recites other prayers while the choir continues the chant.

The status of the Dialogue Mass is unclear to me and I would welcome clarification from those familiar with the Tridentine Mass. My understanding is that it was given its full form in an instruction by Pope Pius XII, De musica sacra et sacra liturgia. A traditionalist website (which strongly objects to the Dialogue Mass) says that

The first stage is the congregation making the liturgical responses to the prayers of the priest (i.e. Amen, Et cum spiritu tuo, Deo gratias, etc…). The second stage of participation is to say the prayers that according to the rubrics are prayed by the altar boys (i.e. the Confiteor, Domine non sum dignus, etc…). The third degree of participation is to say aloud with the celebrant those prayers that are part of the Ordinary of the Mass (i.e. the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei). The final stage of participation is to recite the Proper of the Mass with the priest (i.e. the Introit, Gradual, Offertory, and Communion verses). [De musica sacra] also gives the congregation permission to recite, in Latin only, the Pater Noster with the priest.

Finally, I examined Fortescue’s The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described, which covers not only the Mass but also the Office and various sacraments. This book can be downloaded and searched electronically, so that I was able to to find every reference to “people”, the term Fortescue uses, and thus to see how he expects the people to have exterior participation in the liturgy.

Each such reference is reproduced at the end of this note, with three exceptions. First, he uses “the people” as a compass point in the ritual, so that at various points the priest has his right side to the people, his back to the people, faces the people, etc. I have omitted these references. Second, many liturgical actions are described several times, for Low Mass, High Mass, Mass in the presence of a prelate, etc. Here, I have indicated “repeated”, to show that the same action (e.g. incensation of the people) turns up multiple times in the text. Finally, I left off the parts of the book that refer to sacraments such as baptism, confirmation and confession, since the people are actively involved in these.

My conclusions from the analysis of Fortescue are as follows:

  1. He expects that a congregation will be present for High Masses and similar occasions.
  2. He makes it clear that the presence of the congregation is by no means necessary; their involvement is generally framed in the conditional.
  3. He doesn’t expect that the people will say or do very much. There are only a tiny number of references to the people speaking or singing, venerating the Cross, receiving communion, etc. They are more like liturgical objects (an icon, a statue of the Blessed Virgin, a cross, etc.), to be blessed, sprinkled, incensed.

Just to frame the debate: I am not claiming that this limited exterior participation is A Good Thing or A Bad Thing. Nor am I unaware that we can participate in the liturgy in an interior and contemplative manner.

I hope that we can focus on some relatively factual issues: what exterior participation generally takes place in various forms of the Tridentine Mass, as celebrated today? What exterior participation do its adherents see as highly important?  How does what I have set out above differ from the actual practice of communities where the Tridentine Mass is regularly celebrated? I hope that we can also learn more about the Dialogue Mass, as this is practiced today.

The Fortescue references follow, with page numbers in parentheses.

+ + +

The bishop … blesses the people at the end of Mass. (34)

He rises at once and holds up the Blessed Sacrament, so that it may be seen by the people. (54)

So he elevates [the chalice] to a height where it can be seen by the people above his head, lifting it slowly and straight up…  (55)

As he begins this second prayer he makes the sign of the cross over the people with his right hand (60)

he says the form of administration, Corpus Domini nostri, etc., making the sign of the cross in front of the person with the Host he holds in his right. …. Then he lays the Host on the communicant’s tongue. He repeats the sign of the cross and form of administration to each person, however many there may be. (61, repeated for different forms of Mass)

… he bows, turns by the epistle side, lays the left hand on the breast, and with the right makes the sign of the cross over the people, saying, Pater et Filius + et Spiritus Sanctus. (63, repeated)

According to the present law, after every Low Mass the celebrant with the people must say the prayers prescribed by Pope Leo XIII in 1884 and 1886; (64, note that this is outside of Mass)

If there is no permanent Communion-cloth at the Communion rail, the server must take one from the credence table and hand it to the people there.

… in all cathedral and collegiate churches the ceremony of sprinkling the clergy and people with holy water must take place before the chief Mass on Sundays…. The ceremony is in no sense part of Mass. Therefore the celebrant wears for it the cope, not the chasuble. (87, repeated)

[The thurifer] comes to the entrance of the sanctuary, genuflects, turns to the people and incenses them with three double swings, one down the middle, the next towards the epistle side, lastly towards the gospel side.  (93, repeated)

On Maundy Thursday there is a distribution of Holy Communion at High Mass. This does not often occur on other days; but any Catholic has normally a right to present himself for Communion at any Mass, on condition that he is in a state of grace and fasting from midnight.

The celebrant and ministers then go to the Communion rail and give Holy Communion to the people, accompanied by two torch-bearers. (131)

After the blessing the bishop sits; the celebrant, turning to the people, reads the form of Indulgence, if this is to be published, and if it has not already been read by the preacher. … If there is a sermon at the Mass, the preacher reads the Indulgence after he has preached. (159, note that this is outside of the Mass itself)

He again visits the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, then leaves the church, blessing the clergy and people as he passes. (160, repeated)

The thurifer incenses the choir as at Mass, then the assistants, giving one double swing to each, the acolytes, and lastly the people, as at Mass  … The Gloria Patri of the Magnificat should not begin till the thurifer has incensed the people. (205, repeated)

The pontifical blessing follows. The bishop sits and is covered with the precious mitre. … [He] then lifts his hands and eyes, joins the hands, takes the crozier in his left and makes the sign of the cross thrice over the people, singing the form Benedictio Dei onmipotentis, etc. (224, repeated)

… the choir answers Deo gratias. The cantors come to the middle and sing the verses of the short responsory In manus tuas, the choir or people answering. (236)

In many churches in England it is the custom to form the service on Sunday evening of English prayers, or the rosary, and English hymns, followed by a sermon, and then Benediction. Since such prayers and hymns are not liturgical services, but private devotions, it is obvious that there are no liturgical rules for them, except negative ones. … The people arc more likely to join in the hymns if all stand. (238)

On arriving at the altar, after the usual genuflection, the priest spreads the corporal, opens the tabernacle, genuflects again and leaves it open, so that the people may see the ciborium. He may bring this forward in the tabernacle, that it may be better seen. He does not place it on the altar. (246)

The best known case of exposition is that of the Forty Hours … but it may happen, on other occasions, that the Ordinary allows or commands ex- position for some space of time, that the people may have this special opportunity of saying prayers. (247)

If the people receive candles, the celebrant, with his ministers, goes to the communion rail or entrance of the choir and distributes them. Each person kisses first the candle, then the celebrant’s hand. Another priest, in surplice and purple stole, may assist in distributing the candles. (259, repeated)

The servers (and presumably the people) hold the candles lighted during the gospel, and from the elevation to the Communion.  [the Mem. Rit., Tit. I, cap. ii, § 4, n. 4, says only: “clerici tenebunt candelas accensas.”] (266)

It is usual, in the case of priests and of all who are tonsured, to put the ashes at the place of the tonsure.  Lay people receive them on the forehead. (269)

Palms may now be given to the people at the Communion rail or entrance of the sanctuary. The celebrant does so, having the ministers at his sides, as before. Or it may be done by another priest, who will wear a surplice and purple stole. (275)

Only one server is absolutely necessary, to put out the candles. If there are no choir stalls, the celebrant will sit at the sedile. The choir and people may sing alternate verses of the psalms. Any nine men in cassock and surplice may read the lessons, including the celebrant. (288)

The procession goes to the sepulchre.  …  Lay people or members of confraternities may go first, holding lighted candles, then the cross-bearer between the acolytes, the clergy holding candles, lastly the celebrant between the ministers. (294)

… the servers and people recite the last two verses of the hymn Tantum ergo and Genitori. (299)

If needed, a surplice and black stole for another priest, who will hold the cross for the people to worship at the Communion rails.

The people may come up and worship the cross in the same way after the servers. (306, repeated)

Another priest in a purple stole (handed to him at this moment by the MC), or the celebrant himself, now sprinkles the people with the baptism water. (330, repeated)

First a banner of the Blessed Sacrament, borne by a clerk in surplice. Then confraternities in their dress, all holding lighted candles. Then come regulars, of which each group may walk behind its own cross; magistrates and such people (if there are any) holding candles; the processional cross of the secular clergy between the acolytes with their candles; the choir of singers, seminarists; parish priests in surplice or other ornament (if such is the custom and if the chapter is not present); the chapter and dignitaries; the two thurifers, swinging their thuribles; then the celebrant, holding the monstrance under the canopy. (357)

If possible two priests or clerks should watch all the time. Lay people who watch do so outside the sanctuary. During the exposition, if anyone has duty in the sanctuary, he must wear a surplice.Women are not to go into the sanctuary. (364)

If the bishop is in cappa his train is held by a server. As the bishop goes up the church he blesses the people. (376)

After the gospel of the Mass the faldstool or chair is placed on the foot-pace at the gospel side. The bishop sits there and addresses the people. (378)

The bishop will then give an opportunity to the people to speak to him privately, either in the sacristy or other convenient place. (384, note that this is outside of a liturgical service)

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138 comments

  1. I think that this issue also needs to be considered less abstractly and more within the context of the general alienation of the assembly from sacramental participation in the Mass for many centuries, something that Trent contemplated ending, but that only Pius X gave significant impetus to. The Tridentine Mass of the past century (with two halves, in a sense) is not really the lived experience of most Catholics prior to this past century, shall we say.

  2. In a Sung or High Mass, the assembly may actively respond by singing their response to all the sung dialogues. If Gregorian Chant is sung for the parts of the Ordinary of the Mass or a Congregational Mass setting is used, the assembly may also sing the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus & Benedictus, the final petition of the Pater Noster, and the Agnus Dei.

    The assembly may additionally join in the Asperges/Vidi Aquam which may come before Mass, any additional Latin chants or hymns sung during the Offertory and Communion and the Marian antiphon at the end of Mass. If chants designed for assembly particpation are used for the proper, they may also join in singing elements of the introit, gradual, alleluia, offertory and communion chants.

    The assembly also shares in the liturgical action by their bodily postures and the gestures which accompany different moments of the Mass, by following the prayers and making them their own, by hearing the Word of God proclaimed inthe Scripture readings and the chants of the proper, by engaging in the offering of the Mass uniting themselves to Christ’s offering of himself and of course by receiving Holy Communion.

  3. My own experience with the sung Mass is the congregation does sing and respond to the Jubilatio Deo setting of the Mass but don’t join in the Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons. However they do chant the entire Pater Noster even at our Solemn Sung Mass with deacon and sub deacon. In 2012/13 there is no reason not to encourage the congregation to sing and speak as they are able and more importantly willing . The EF Mass has been liberated from the museum and is back to a living and breathing celebration.

  4. The common practice, in my experience, seems to be that:

    1) At Low Masses celebrated either by a priest or bishop, the people do not make responses. They may or may not sing hymns. Dialogue Masses are not common in the United States but may be in Europe.
    2) At High and Solemn Masses, including Pontifical Masses of this variety, the people generally do make the responses proper to them and, if the Mass setting is a well-known Gregorian setting, the people sing this as well. The Asperges me and Vidi aquam are generally very well-known and so the people often join in these. The people generally do not join in the singing of the Propers.
    3) In all Masses, if there are hymns–Latin or otherwise–accompanying the procession or recession, the people generally join in singing these, since they are usually well-known.
    4) The Pater Noster is not commonly sung by the people, except for the customary response, “Sed libera nos a malo,” at High and Solemn Masses.
    5) The customary genuflections and Signs of the Cross, even though not contained in the rubrics or governed by the Missal for the people, are done by them at the appropriate times.
    6) The Leonine Prayers are prayed with the people after Low Masses, almost always in the vernacular, even though it is no longer prescribed, since it is a long established custom.
    7) The readings are usually read or sung in Latin and may or may not be re-read in the vernacular before the homily. (The law is that at Low Masses they may be in Latin or the vernacular, and by custom if in Latin they may be re-read in the vernacular before the homily; at High and Solemn Masses they must be in Latin, and may be followed by a re-read in the vernacular before the homily, as in Low Mass).

  5. It is important not to confuse custom with what may legitimately be permitted. Summorum Pontificum makes clear that the readings may always be directly in the vernacular when the faithful are present. This has long been the case in France and Germany although it is less common in English-speaking countries even though it is permitted.

    There are no rubrics for the assembly in the official Missal text of the 1962 Ordo Missae, so postures at Mass are determined by local or national custom and vary greatly. My experience of the EF Mass in the US is that participation by the assembly in singing during the Mass is greatly reduced in relation to what is the norm in Europe. In some places there seems to be almost a prohibition of such participation which seems at variance with the mind of the Magisterium since at least the time of Pius X. I believe that this may mean that some commentators who have only experienced the EF in the US in more recent years may not have an entirely reliable basis for making more general observations about this form of the Mass.

  6. The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described

    It would be useful to know what edition you looked at, since there are 15.

    The following references are to the 1920 edition.

    In no way can we ignore references to turning to face the people as merely positional. In effect, it removes much of the back and forth that constitutes the people’s vocal participation at Mass. In “The Celebrant at High Mass” for instance, Fortescue writes, “When [the celebrant] returns to the altar [after the Gloria] he kisses it in the middle, turns to the people, and sings Dominus vobiscum” (122). This is hardly just a compass direction, the priest is turning there because the people are there and the greeting is addressed to them. You miss the telling detail that whilst the deacon sings “Ite Missa est” the celebrant faces the people, “but faces the altar if the form be Benedicamus Domino or Requiescant in pace” (130), which are not addressed to them.

    You have not looked at the word “congregation,” which is also used by Fortescue, for instance in describing Vespers in Small Churches he says, “A good arrangement is that the special singers chant alternately with the whole congregation.”

    Regarding Compline, “The lector may be one of the cantors ; if there is no liturgical choir (in surplices, before the altar), compline may be sung by singers in other parts of the church, or the verses of the psalms may be sung alternately by trained singers and the congregation” (233).

    The first visit of the Ordinary, “He is escorted to the altar under a canopy held by servers in surplice, or distinguished members of the congregation” (387).

    There are more references to “the people” that aren’t on your list, perhaps because we’re looking at different editions, for instance: “It is also usual in many churches that, on leaving the sacristy door, the server ring a bell there, to warn the people that Mass is about to begin” (44)

    1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #6:
      Samuel, the printed edition I have is from 1939, the online from 1918; all my page references are from the 1918.

      You are right about the references to “congregation”; there are others, e.g.

      the small canopy is carried by a member of the congregation or of a confraternity (299)

      … if the church possesses such a banner, then members of a congregation in their dress or other “pious men,” the first server with the thurible, the processional cross borne by the third server, the celebrant… (315)

      None of these references change my view that, for Fortescue, the people are for the most part liturgical objects, to be blessed, incensed, sprinkled or turned towards.

      I saw but deliberately omitted the passages about ringing the bell to warn the people, and turning to the people before singing, simply because it is clear that nothing would change if the people were not there. The priest or deacon may be facing the people (or not) but he isn’t addressing them. It is the ministers who respond, at least in Fortescue’s world. He notes (p. 78, footnote 2) that the people “enjoy a certain natural liberty”, e.g. to stand even when the rubrics indicate that the servers are to kneel.

      Comments I have seen, on this post and elsewhere, suggest that this non-involvement of the people has changed over time. It is interesting that there is variety on this. At Tridentine Masses I have attended, some people remain kneeling virtually throughout the Mass, saying a rosary, while others give some of the responses. I was once “shushed” by a woman next to me for responding et cum spiritu tuo to the priest. But others in the congregation made the responses.

      Apparently “say the black do the red” cannot be applied to the people attending a Tridentine Mass, because their roles don’t appear in the book. It is not surprising that, among and between Tridentine Mass communities, there are active debates about what the people are to do.

      1. @Jonathan Day – comment #50:
        Apparently “say the black do the red” cannot be applied to the people attending a Tridentine Mass, because their roles don’t appear in the book.

        While it’s true that there are few references to the people in the 1962 Roman Missal, the General Rubrics of the Roman Missal (1960) mentions the “active participation of the faithful” in the first section (n. 272):

        Of its nature the Mass demands that all those present take part in it, after the manner proper to them.
        A choice must be made, however, among the various ways in which the faithful may take part actively in the most holy sacrifice of the Mass, in such a way that any danger of abuse may be removed, and the special aim of the participation may be realized, namely a fuller measure of worship offered to God and of edification obtained for the faithful.
        This active participation of the faithful has been dealt with at greater length in the Instruction, Sacred Music and the Sacred Liturgy, given by the Sacred Congregation of Rites on September 3, 1958.

        The latter reference is to the legislative instruction, De musica sacra et sacra liturgica (1958), which Jonathan Day mentions in his original post.

        Although printed in black, the general rubrics and, even though not in the same book, this instruction, were/are also to be “done.”

  7. @Msgr Andrew Wadsworth – comment #5:

    Summorum Pontificum makes clear that the readings may always be directly in the vernacular when the faithful are present.

    That is not correct. Some people interpreted SP that way (and indeed, in my parish, that was our practice at our Sunday Sung Mass for a while.)

    The relevant article of SP says:

    Art. 6. In Masses celebrated in the presence of the people in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII, the readings may be given in the vernacular, using editions recognised by the Apostolic See.

    But this was clarified in Universae Ecclesiae:

    26. As foreseen by article 6 of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the readings of the Holy Mass of the Missal of 1962 can be proclaimed either solely in the Latin language, or in Latin followed by the vernacular or, in Low Masses, solely in the vernacular.

  8. To add briefly to the comments by Msgr. Wadsworth and Fr. McDonald: The Introit, Gradual, Alleluia and Offertory chants as printed in the Liber Usualis are often sufficiently complex that they would likely be beyond the singing ability of most congregations. Probably the same with the Communion antiphon. The Ordinary, even most of the settings not included in Jubilate Deo, would be quite possible if the people are open to making an effort to learn them.

    1. @Clarence Goodwright – comment #9:
      CG – This is to agree with your assessments, but to suggest some more context. The proper antiphons in the Liber or the Graduale are, indeed, the province of skilled singers and/or scholae cantorum. However, it should be borne in mind that these items are just that: antiphons. Where desired (such as in the Novus Ordo) there is nothing at all prohibiting the congregation from singing the appointed (and restored) psalm verses to psalm tones during the entrance, offertory, and communion processsions. This was the original order of things (except that the antiphons became too elaborate for all to sing between psalm verses or before and after the psalm verses). These ‘processional chants’ are antiphonal ones, in which psalm verses are properly sung ‘antiphonally’ by two groups, who then sing the ‘antiphon’ together. By contrast, the graduals found in the Liber or Graduale are the remnants of responsorial psalmody, which is, by intention, more elaborate and meditative.

      Your points about the Gregorian ordinaries, too, are well taken. Outside of a few, quite a number of these can be sung by a congregation of hundreds, providing they have competent choirmasters to teach them and the willingness to learn. As an Anglican Use Catholic, I can vouch that in my tradition at least a dozen of these were long ago put into English and were/are commonly sung by entire congregations in Anglo-Catholic churches. There is no reason at all why Catholics cannot do the same. (And, I commend to you Fr Columba Kelly’s [St Meinrad’s Archabbey] adaptations of these into the English of the new translation.) Catholics very well can sing these if certain people would stop telling them that they can’t. (It is an atypical Episcopalian, for instance, who doesn’t know quite well the ‘Fourth Communion Service’, which happens to be the Cum Jubilo [!] Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus and Agnus Dei… plus the first credo… all in English.)

      1. @M. Jackson Osborn – comment #11:

        However, it should be borne in mind that these items are just that: antiphons. Where desired (such as in the Novus Ordo) there is nothing at all prohibiting the congregation from singing the appointed (and restored) psalm verses to psalm tones during the entrance, offertory, and communion processsions. This was the original order of things (except that the antiphons became too elaborate for all to sing between psalm verses or before and after the psalm verses). These ‘processional chants’ are antiphonal ones, in which psalm verses are properly sung ‘antiphonally’ by two groups, who then sing the ‘antiphon’ together.

        I hadn’t thought of this, but I think you are certainly correct — the Psalm verses would certainly be within the ability of the congregation to sing. Again, I think this would probably be more true for the Communion verse than the Introit or Offertory verses, given that the Communion verse is generally the simplest of the three, and affords time to sing multiple Psalm verses.

        Also, I will need to find Fr. Kelly’s adaptations of the Ordinary — those will be helpful in OF parishes in the future.

  9. My parish priest always celebrates the EF in a low voice “ad orientem’ but is obliged to continue the OF for the Sunday congregation. Last year he decided to celebrate all Masses, Latin EF and English OF, “ad orientem.”

    When a gentle. elderly parishioner asked him why the free-standing altar had been removed and said she missed the involvement of the nearer position of the priest facing the congregation, she was told,”You can say your Rosary.”

    The attendance of a congregation is simply a non-necessity in this church. It’s surprising that so many still turn up, but at least it’s possible to meet one’s friends afterwards.

    1. @Mary Wood – comment #12:

      When a gentle. elderly parishioner asked him why the free-standing altar had been removed and said she missed the involvement of the nearer position of the priest facing the congregation, she was told,”You can say your Rosary.”

      While I take no issue with removing free-standing altars in favor of using the ad orientem high altar (which generally isn’t all that much farther away), this parishioner deserved a decent response that actually addressed her concerns.

      Father missed a teaching moment that could have been genuinely helpful to someone who didn’t understand why he made his decision — and he also shot himself in the foot by giving an off-putting answer to one who might have supported him had he gave an explanation.

  10. comment-564944 Todd Flowerday: “It’s mostly all a liturgical dead-end. Unreformed, and most practitioners seem proud to keep it that way.”

    This is a gross generalisation and cannot be substantiated. While there are certainly those who seem to wish to present the EF as a form of gnosticsm into which others must be initiated as a sort of club, this is certainly not of the essential nature of the experience and is something of a caricature by those who celebrate the EF in this way.

    In over fifty years of regular active particpation in this form of the liturgy, in which I have been a regular celebrant for the past twenty-two years, it has certainly not been my own experience. It is quite possible to be present at a Sung Mass in the EF at which many, if not most, of the injunctions of Sacrosanctum concilium are fulfilled. It may equally be the case, of course, that they are not – in this it suffers the same fate as many celebrations in the Ordinary Form.

    1. @Msgr Andrew Wadsworth – comment #13:
      Msgr Wadsworth, thanks for the reply. What I offered was hardly a generalization, coming as it does from a quantity of reading, including Summorum Pontificum 2007, and many exchanges with traditionalist Catholics.

      The Roman Rite can certainly mine the 1570/1962 Missal for music, as most of the plainchant precedes this, and the “tradition” of choral Masses is decidedly un=liturgical, however inspirational such works may be.

      I noted significant resistance to the revision of the Good Friday prayers from many quarters, as well as the use of the unreformed Missal as a badge of dissent for many believers.

      I think my qualification, “mostly” and “most” cover a combination of both news and personal exchanges with everyone from occasional practitioners to theologians. I think there are gnostic, idolatrous, and even pelagian tendencies within *some* elements of the traditional Mass movement.

      TLM advocates would do the Church a great good if they were to seriously engage the reforms of Sacrosanctum Concilium, even on their own terms. That they decline to do so, or are prevented from doing so reveals a serious resistance to renewal, which is the hallmark of the Christian spiritual life, and the essence of commitment to Christ. While I am sure that many traditionalist Catholics find great spiritual benefit from the mood and atmosphere of the TLM, some are being led astray by their pastors. And as a whole, the movement and concessions toward it have done great damage to the Church’s liturgical life.

      I would certainly agree that many celebrations of the modern Roman Rite are deficient in many regards. But their advantage is that they have been part of a substrate of a very difficult task–authentic reform–for the past half-century. By and large, most celebrations of Mass are a vast improvement on the pre-conciliar Low Mass.

      I will grant that TLM’s are often extremely well done as ritual pieces. They can afford to be. Some parishes celebrate as many as twenty-five Roman Rite Masses in a single week. I can’t imagine that a modern 3,000-family parish could hope to equal that sort of ministry with unreformed rites, and a presumption of a sung ordinary (at minimum), a full expression of liturgical ministry, and most everything else people have come to expect of their Sunday Masses, funerals, weddings, school Masses, and even daily Mass. And with Scripture not in the vernacular?

      The 1962 Missal is a virtual dead-end. Bereft of significant reform, it has little to no hope of being a tool for evangelization, renewal, Scriptural literacy, ecumenism, or further liturgical reform.

      1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #20:

        To reply to another part of your comment,

        The 1962 Missal is a virtual dead-end. Bereft of significant reform, it has little to no hope of being a tool for evangelization, renewal, Scriptural literacy, ecumenism, or further liturgical reform.

        So the Confirmations we celebrate for people who’ve returned to the Church because of the ’62 Missal are fake renewal? The Baptisms of converts in our communities are false evangelization? The excitement of these communities (look where the exclamation mark is) about ecumencial engagement is false?

      2. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #28:
        This type of exaggeration is frustrating. There are developments in church history – missals have come and gone. To state that folks who celebrated using the 62 missal are fake, etc. because that missal is now past is an exaggeration.
        Using your logic leads us to some ridiculous conclusions. So, the sacraments, the spiritual journeys, etc. are totally because of the 62 missal? when did an inanimate object such as a missal become the *core reason* for converstion, sacramental graces, etc.?
        suggest that your logic, theology, etc. is confused.

      3. @Bill deHaas – comment #31:
        To state that folks who celebrated using the 62 missal are fake, etc. because that missal is now past is an exaggeration.

        Well, I argree that to say that it was fake is not true. I disagree that the missal is “past” (since we still use it). But the point is that Todd has no basis for arguing that “The 1962 Missal … has little to no hope of being a tool for evangelization, renewal, Scriptural literacy, ecumenism, or further liturgical reform.” The communities that use the 1962 Missal are using it as a tool for all of these things. It’s nopt an issue of hope, it’s an issue of facts on the ground, which are not as Todd speculates they might be.

      4. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #29:
        You are making a caricature of my argument against the unreformed rite. Sacraments are not only for persons who are “objects” of the celebration, but also liturgies for the benefit of the entire faith community.

      5. @Todd Flowerday – comment #20:

        Todd: The 1962 Missal is a virtual dead-end. Bereft of significant reform, it has little to no hope of being a tool for evangelization, renewal, Scriptural literacy, ecumenism, or further liturgical reform.

        The EF “converted” a rather agnostic and bored teenager into someone who passionately believed in the faith. I would not have experienced this conversion, or have started an academic career in classical languages, if the EF were not there to sustain my interest in Catholic belief and the Latin language. Even if the EF evangelizes only a few sheep, has it not served the Church?

        I have striven for a moderate position on PTB. I have supported an indult for the Sacramentary, and have duly agreed that the new missal translation is flawed not only in translation but also in presentation. I accept, and have even tried to integrate into my observations postmodern liturgical concepts such as a renewed understanding of ecclesia. Yet, I and perhaps others, have found that no amount of moderation and attempts at reconciliation from traditionally-inclined believers can quiet the storm of words and resentments.

        For the past year I have attended the OF exclusively out of a desire to integrate myself with the more common liturgical form. I find myself yearning to return to the EF. If I return to the EF, am I not able to properly understand postmodern liturgical concepts? Will I become trapped in a turgid medievalism, unable to escape intellectually? Some might believe this to be the case. I do not. I believe that any Catholic is able to critically evaluate the structure of the Roman rite while frequently participating in only one form. I am convinced, sadly, that not a few do not want to reach out “across the aisle”, so to say, and jointly develop a common liturgical narrative. This intransigence is perhaps a burden a divided rite must bear.

  11. Considering Jonathan’s original question about the participation of the laity, the following video of a Sunday Mass at St Nicolas du Chardonnet (SSPX) in Paris, reveals some interesting facts:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c32brXXx5k8

    The following moments are particularly worthy of mention:

    0.04.00 Asperges
    0.11.00 Kyrie
    0.13.37 Gloria
    0.36.14 Credo
    0.46.48 Preface & Sanctus
    0.57.07 Pater noster
    0.58.29 Fraction
    1.01.45 Ecce Agnus Dei/Domine non sum dignus
    1.07.08 Ite missa est
    1.18.12 Salve Regina
    1.10.17 Vernacular Recessional Hymn

    1. @Msgr Andrew Wadsworth – comment #14:
      The video proves that the principles of receiving a share of the mysteries offered with the laity chanting and saying their parts is quite possible at a sung EF Mass. Would it be kosher to sing a vernacular hymn at the procession prior to the Asperges? I also like how the Epistle was read with the celebrant chanting its introduction and as he said it quietly at the altar a lay reader read it in the vernacular at the ambo.

    2. @Msgr Andrew Wadsworth – comment #14:
      Thank you for providing this video link, Mgr Wadsworth. I have visited this church but not been to a Mass there. The congregation certainly join in the singing with energy.

      Two things struck me. First, during the Creed, the servers and many in the congregation made gestures (e.g. bowing or kneeling at the incarnatus), but the priest, not long into the singing, sat down! Was this because he had already said the Creed sotto voce and was now waiting for the choir and congregation to catch up?

      Second, after the Ite, missa est and blessing (I will never understand why the Tridentine Mass has them in that order), the priest went to read the last Gospel, whilst the congregation and choir sang a Salve Regina. It is as if two different liturgies were going on, in the same place, at the same time.

      The publisher of the video explained that this Mass is “referred to as the Tridentine Rite, or Tridentine Mass, or Tridentine Latin Mass, or Old Latin Mass, or classical Latin Mass, or Traditional Latin Mass.” Yet the congregational participation in this manner must be relatively modern (e.g. since 1900). Things have changed. So why the language of “Mass of all time”, “unchanged since the council of Trent”, etc.? The Mass has changed — at least, if the people’s parts matter, it has.

      1. @Jonathan Day – comment #52:
        I find it a puzzle too, to have the Dismissal first and the Blessing last; however, I have been to Lutheran, Methodist and Episcopal (Anglican) liturgies where the Dismissal is given first, the Recessional Hymn is sung and the liturgical procession leaves the sanctuary and when all have finished singing the recessional hymn, from the entrance of the Church, the minister offers the blessing and then all depart.

  12. I do find it amusing how divisive the concept of the dialog mass has become among traditionalists in the English speaking world. I can think of one traditional parish near me in Baltimore where it has deeply divided the congregation (result: no dialog mass). Various reasons are given for this, some poor (fear of creeping influence of the ordinary form) and some better (the congregation is too often not well trained or practiced in making the server responses or chanting, too distracting at low mass, extends the time of a weekday low mass).

    But I have attended dialog EF masses on the continent which have come off well, and one can see how a more active “exterior” participation can come off in the EF with a well practiced congregation.

  13. Hello Clarence,

    Father missed a teaching moment that could have been genuinely helpful to someone who didn’t understand why he made his decision — and he also shot himself in the foot by giving an off-putting answer to one who might have supported him had he gave an explanation.

    Well said.

    It’s hard to believe that a priest, even a traditional-minded priest, could say such a thing today.

  14. Todd, I don’t doubt that many traditionalist espouse the views that you cite and I entirely agree with you that it is unhelpful. With reference to Jonathan’s original question and the main focus of this discussion, I would respectfully ask you to watch the video I posted at the points I indicated and to appraise the question on the basis of what you see. This is not a set piece but a Sunday liturgy which engages a large number of people with a degree of sung congregational participation that far outways the average Ordinary Form Sunday celebration. It is presented within a ‘liturgical movement’ understanding of this liturgy that sees the participation of the assembly as an integrated and essential element.

    1. @Msgr Andrew Wadsworth – comment #21:
      The antiphonal singing of the Gloria is quite stirring. And the people present indeed seem quite engaged, perhaps even more so than the priest at moments. And indeed, if this were the norm in the Roman Rite in 1960, it is likely that Sacrosanctum Concilium would not be the same document. One might suggest that Pius IX and the 1870 curia and bishops needn’t have dithered with infallibility, and might have looked instead to the spiritual sustenance of the laity as their primary responsibility.

      However, you should realize that in the experience of many thousands of liturgically committed parishes in North America, this is matched in sung participation ten times a week, or more. We also sing at other moments, and we sing the texts of the Scriptures, either in the Propers or in Scripture-based songs and hymns in harmony with the readings, delivered in the vernacular.

      That said, I’m heartened to see a vibrant parish choir and a director who obviously has a sense of both prayer and passion for the music. He has thousands of brothers and sisters on this side of the Atlantic.

  15. Interestingly, a large congregation gathers on Sundays and major feasts at St Nicolas du Chardonnet to sing Vespers. Here the congregational participation in the singing of the psalms is very striking, the assembly singing enthusiastically (without direction) in alternation with a single cantor or small schola:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGaEfevk9TQ

    I know of nowhere (with the possible exception of Sunday vespers at St Peter’s) that regularly achieves this degree of congregational participation with a large number of people (several hundred) at the singing of the Liturgy of the Hours. Whether or not the celebration is EF or OF, Latin or vernacular, surely this is in the spirit of Sacrosanctum concilium?

  16. Anyone interested in this topic should read the FIUV Position Paper ‘Liturgical Piety and Participation’, which is available from the FIUV website: http://www.fiuv.org/dossier_liturgy.html

    Bl. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have on many occasions emphasised that silent listening can be a form of ‘active participation’ (references are in the paper, the Pope reiterated this in his recent address to the St Cecelia Association). Once you take this on board the usual critique of participation at the EF falls to pieces.

  17. I think there are gnostic, idolatrous, and even pelagian tendencies within *some* elements of the traditional Mass movement.

    Amazingly, there are sinners and heretics in all parts of the Church.

    TLM advocates would do the Church a great good if they were to seriously engage the reforms of Sacrosanctum Concilium, even on their own terms.

    We’ve had endless discussions about just this thing on this very blog. We’re well aware of Sacrosanctum Concilium and very much engaged with it. I know that you’re well aware as well of the CMAA forum, where this discussion also goes on to. For you to claim at this point that this engagement isn’t going on “even on their own terms,” I just don’t know what to make of it other than wilful blindness.

    1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #23:
      Thank you for responding, Samuel. I’m always willing to engage the discussion, here, at CMAA, or on my own site. While I appreciate the great example of a TLM, which far exceeds my expectations, and comes close to the best assembly participation in the modern Roman Rite, I sadly concede it is an exception for the 1570/1962 rite. This is repeated thousands of times each Sunday in North America. Some parishes manage it ten or twelve times a week, including funeral, school, and even votive Masses and the occasional wedding.

      As for CMAA, let me make a suggestion. I’m willing to engage a serious discussion on SC there or anywhere. I’m particularly interested in how the TLM would resurrect the catechumenate rites.

      1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #25:
        Todd, my point isn’t to invite you to participate in the discussion, though you’re welcome to.

        The point is that you just made an outrageous accusation against those attached to the TLM accusing them of “serious resistance to” “the essence of comittment to Christ” based on the fact that they “decline to” or “are prevented from” “seriously engag[ing] the reforms of Sacrosanctum Concilium, even on their own terms.”

        But they do do that and have done that. I cite the discussion on this blog and the CMAA forum because I know that you’re aware of them, which makes it all the worse that you level these accusations against people. The more important discussion of course is going on in planning meetings, choir rehearsals, sacristies, at post-liturgy meals, etc. (none of which you could be aware of since, you’re not part of that community).

      2. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #27:
        “The point is that you just made an outrageous accusation …”

        I don’t think so. It’s an assessment of the mainstream of the TLM movement. Given the association of the TLM with schismatic movements, it’s not outrageous so much as lamentable.

        One doesn’t have to be part of every Catholic community to make broad assessments about the Church.

  18. The manner in which the old rite was suppressed, and the way in which the indult was handled did not really create an environment suitable for reform amongst traditionalists, but rather one of resentment and distrust. There also hasn’t been enough time since SP to seriously look at textual reform, IMO. However, there seems in many quarters to be a huge emphasis on getting the congregation to do its part and to make the Mass easy to understand and participate in.

    As for my own participation, I always sing the responses and ordinary when I can, and this seems common enough in EF communities. I’ve been to quite a few EF High Masses at at least five different parishes in two different states, so my experience isn’t based on the practice of one particular church. Low Mass seems to have the least amount of participation, but Low Masses are rarer than High Masses and I’ve noticed a degree of embarrassment expressed by traditionalist communities that can’t muster a High Mass weekly.

    Were the EF in English, I think it would actually make weekly – even daily – sung Masses easier and more common. The congregational parts are fairly easy and the priest has far less to sing than in the OF. The rite seems more suited to being sung than the OF, IMO.

  19. Todd Flowerday – comment #21:
    “you should realize that in the experience of many thousands of liturgically committed parishes in North America, this is matched in sung participation ten times a week, or more.”

    Todd, the nature of my work means that I have traveled very widely in North America visiting parishes all over the country during the past three years and what you assert is not evident to me on the scale you suggest, although it is certainly evident in some places.

    It is always helpful to identify models of good practise but perhaps unrealistic to try and generalize on that basis. I am simply trying to illustrate that the difficulties you quite legitimately identify are not necessarily inherent in every aspect of the rite but rather in the manner in which it is celebrated in some places by some people- this holds true in both forms of the Roman Rite.

    1. @Msgr Andrew Wadsworth – comment #30:
      And what about the fact that 2/3rds of the current church is not in the Western World and has little interest in EF or TLM.

      As we look to the future, enculturation, etc. this post and string of comments means what? Sorry, reminds me of folks rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic (Titanic = unreformed liturgy, 1962 missal, etc.)

      1. @Bill deHaas – comment #32:
        Agreed.

        The essence of what we’re striving for is a liturgy that will attract seekers, will deepen the faith of believers, and inspire an overlay of art, music, and architecture that aims not at a tradition for its own sake, but for the proclamation of and commitment to the Gospel. The liturgy must point to Christ, not serve as an idol or mere symbol of God.

        I’m convinced spiritually and theologically that the modern Roman Rite, celebrated with sensibility, sensitivity, and with proper options to adapt to any human situation is the tool the Church needs. That linked TLM would certainly function as a needed tool for the Gospel, but much of what makes it attractive, the congregational singing and the musical repertoire, would serve just as well in the modern Roman Rite.

        I’ve always been curious as to what seems to be the abandonment of celebrating the the modern Missal in Latin. That would seem to be the best of all possible options for traditional Catholics. And yet it is virtually absent, outside of Rome.

        What SC offers is a presumption of participation, described explicitly in section 30, and repeated in the praenotanda, post-conciliar liturgy documents, and even in non-liturgical documents like the General Directory for Catechesis and Ad Gentes. I would be edified to see the filmed link be more the rule than the exception to the celebration of the TLM or any Mass.

  20. Bill de Haas – Comment #32

    Bill, I tend to agree with you , if we take the bigger or perhaps biggest picture into consideration. That is why the discussion of these principles as they are evidenced in any celebration of the liturgy is important. The point on which we agree would probably be that we all hope that the largest number of Catholic communities will experience the liturgy in the best possible way.

    This thread has been interesting, at least to some of us, I would suggest, because it asked a very simple question: ‘how do the laity participate in an EF Mass?’. It is a topic that tends to yield rather unsupported generalizations as answers – it is interesting therefore to discover that the reality is somewhat more complex than some people would suggest!

  21. Todd, I think that we’re forgetting that people can participate or not participate in the OF of the Mass too. I see many in either of the two parishes in my town who don’t sing, or don’t answer any of the responses, or don’t prayer the prayers. It doesn’t mean that they’re not participating, or does it?

    And, let’s not forget that there are schismatic and/or heretical movements that are associated with the OF form as well. Lamentable? No! Outrageous? Yes! That souls are being lost, whether it’s EF or OF, through such movements associated with either form is outrageous.

  22. Hello Jack,

    Were the EF in English, I think it would actually make weekly – even daily – sung Masses easier and more common.

    Well, at least a few Ordinariate parishes make use (to some degree) of the English missal, which is – with a few minor differences – essentially the Tridentine missal translated into hieratic English. [They are, however, forced to use the three year lectionary, at least at present, I regret to say.]

    So there’s a possibility out there, for the lucky few close to an ordinariate parish that’s using it, or is open to using it. I agree that this could have serious growth potential, offering the traditional form, rubrics and (most important) prayers of the old mass, but without the obstacle of the Latin.

  23. For a lot of traditionalists it is the prayers and structure of the EF that make it appealing, which is probably why the Latin OF isn’t “the best possible option” for them and isn’t more widely used. I recall one of the reform-of-the-reform blogs lamenting that many Latin OF masses were replaced by the EF after SP, because that was what the congregation had actually wanted all along. I know for myself, the only really appealing aspect of the OF is that it can be in English.

    I think supporters of the OF need to be more honest with themselves about how the reform is going. I get the impression that the absolute best OF Masses are held up as normative and the full participation of the assembly is assumed to be taking place not because it is the usual practice, but rather because it is what the documents of Vatican II desired and what the OF was meant to facilitate. The vast majority of OF Masses do not achieve the participation seen in that French EF Mass. Throwing around “reformed” and “unreformed” doesn’t mean anything if the unreformed Mass can outdo the reformed one with little effort.

    To Richard: I’ve always wanted to attend an English Missal Mass. I know S Clements, and Episcopal Church, uses it and posts sound recordings of it on their website. However, they tend to sing the Gloria, Sanctus, etc in Latin.

  24. Todd Flowerday : @Samuel J. Howard – comment #27:“The point is that you just made an outrageous accusation …” I don’t think so. It’s an assessment of the mainstream of the TLM movement. Given the association of the TLM with schismatic movements, it’s not outrageous so much as lamentable.

    Come on, Todd. “TLM advocates” are in “serious resistance to” “the essence of comittment to Christ” because they refuse to engage with SC, even on their own terms? That’s what you said. First off, it’s not a statement about “some” people or part of a movement, it’s a blanket statement. Second, it’s a blatantly false premise. there are lots of people in the mainstream of the TLM movement who are engaging with SC. Quite a few of them right here on this blog engaging with you.

    One doesn’t have to be part of every Catholic community to make broad assessments about the Church.

    Sure, but not only are you not a part of every 1962 Missal celebrating community, you’re not a part of any of them.

    1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #42:
      I’m sorry this engages your passion to the extent you seem to have exaggerated my written positions above. I’m happy to continue this discussion when you can quote in full, and without pasting your hot spots, and go from there.

      1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #46:
        Todd, perhaps you can describe how I have exaggerated your written position.

        I’m not sure what you mean by “in full”. I’m responding to what you write. You’re opinions are not an unseverable whole. This is a self-contained thought:

        TLM advocates would do the Church a great good if they were to seriously engage the reforms of Sacrosanctum Concilium, even on their own terms. That they decline to do so, or are prevented from doing so reveals a serious resistance to renewal, which is the hallmark of the Christian spiritual life, and the essence of commitment to Christ.

        But, it’s not true. TLM advocates do seriously engage the reforms of Sacrosanctum Concilium. They read and study the document, comment on it, implement parts of it and attempt to hew to its “spirit” even when they think that other parts of it are mistaken (and the law has allowed them discretion in implementation). This discussion has been in evidence here and on the Musica Sacra forums in which you have also participated. Why do you argue that they’re not engaged?

        There’s lots of things about the ’62 Missal and the groups that use it that can be debated and argued about. Those things are more interesting and pleasant to talk about in an environment when we can do it without falsely accusing each other of being unchristian because we advocate a particular liturgy.

      2. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #47:
        Fair enough.

        I will correct it: some TLM advocates could take a closer look at SC, and engage the 1962 Missal from a stance of a hermeneutic of reform and renewal.

        I think many TLM promoters and some Catholics of a reform2 spirit have seriously misread the actual meaning and explicit examples of active participation, not only in SC 30 and elsewhere in the liturgy documents, but even outside of the realm of worship documentation.

        Engaging liturgical faith actively, outwardly, does not negate or replace the interior spirituality of a believer or a community. But personal and communal activity is part of the Judeo-Christian tradition. My sense is that anything goes within the bounds of dignity, tradition, honesty, artfulness, and integrity when the spiritual well-being of the Church is at stake.

        I have seen the 1970 Rite work exceptionally well, but then again, I’ve been fortunate to serve communities with prayerful pastors and committed lay people. I retreat in monasteries that have maintained liturgical traditions in liturgy and likely have never experienced the desert from which I know Msgr Wadsworth honestly reports.

        My reading of church history informs that the Church always struggles after a Council with resistance, and a hermeneutic of obstruction. Reform is difficult. Renewal is hard. No wonder Penance is such a difficult sacrament for everyone, from bishops to six-year-olds.

  25. Hello Jack,

    For a lot of traditionalists it is the prayers and structure of the EF that make it appealing, which is probably why the Latin OF isn’t “the best possible option” for them and isn’t more widely used.

    Exactly.

    Setting aside the regrettable three year lectionary (fodder for a discussion all by itself), most people don’t realize just how much the collects and propers were changed – with particular theological emphases – to say nothing of the new Offertory, the new EPs, and so on.

    All of which prescinds from translation issues. Even in the original Latin, there’s a great deal of difference between the prayers of the OF and the EF.

  26. Could Mr. Malcolm expand on his comment at #37 that he “regrets to say” that ordinariate parishes are “forced” to use the three year (presumably Sunday) lectionary? Does he regret this because he feels that the one-year Sunday lectionary of the MR1570/1962 correlates most closely with these chants and prayers? Does he regret this because of the insertion/restoration of another reading/lesson (a “prophet” in addition to the “epistle” and “gospel”) in the Liturgy of the Word/Mass of the Catechumens? Does he regret this because he believes the increased amount of scripture proclaimed by means of the three year Sunday lectionary causes harm to the spirituality of the assembly? Or???

    1. @Fr. Jan Michael Joncas – comment #44:
      I shall offer a ‘counter-balance’ here. As a member of ‘the ordinariate’ from the time of its beginnings with JPII’s Pastoral Provision of 1982, I am well pleased with the three-year lectionary, and do not at all feel that we are ‘forced’ to use it. We are glad to. The inclusion of a reading from the prophecy or the Old Testament is particularly welcome, being the real, the actual, traditional arrangement – the two-reading arrangement being the real innovation. I only wish that we were allowed the ‘King James’ as an option (or, failing that, the Douai-Rheims).

  27. I think the appeal of TLM or mainstream Roman Rite communities is more in the intentionality of how many believers live the Christian life. An intentional community making serious demands of its members is going to be deeply attractive. I happen to think that liturgical reform of the 60’s was addressing the mean of liturgical celebrations, or perhaps the “bottom-feeders.” No doubt many communities were celebrating the TLM well in 1962. But these were likely a very slim fraction, far less than those celebrating the Roman Rite well today.

    And communities celebrating the Mass poorly today are likely those who would celebrate poorly in any rite. Why? Disengaged laity. Apathetic clergy. A lack of evangelization, ars celebrandi, commitment to the arts, priest education, catechesis, spiritual life.

    These issues are not terribly popular in some quarters of Roman Catholicism, but they are the ones we should be addressing before we can hope that a new translation methodology will solve any of these ills.

    It is possible that the French community that sang so well with some of this music would not be more enriched with an expanded Lectionary, a restored catechumenate and permanent diaconate, a greater proportion of music and less of the distracting ritual repetitions. The 2002 Missal in Latin, perhaps. In this mortal life, there is always room to strive for being closer to the perfection of the Divine.

  28. For the life of me I am unable to justify any objection whatsoever to the three year lectionary unless it’s that we didn’t use to do this in the good old Mass. SC called for reforms intended to revitalize the lives of the faithful around the Eucharistic sacrifice. That Popes since then feel free to authorize unreformed rites implies something about ecclesiology. And, I submit that it is the understanding of the Church itself which lies beneath the conflict. In reading some of the posts, I sense I am living in a different church or even a different world. To suggest that the use of the Latin language is somehow intrinsic to the best possible offering of the Mass doesn’t make any sense to me. I do not object to there being an alternative rite in the vernacular so that people can offer the Mass in a way that meets their particular sensibilities, but if it is not a Mass in which all are encouraged to participate through vocal prayer and song, I don’t get it.

  29. The most persuasive objection to the expanded lectionary cycle is that while the goal of SC 51 was good, that the people have more exposure to the Bible, the means adopted were not well fitted to the end and had costs that the authors did not realize.

    The associations of particular days, times and seasons with particular readings is strong in the EF. They’re the same from year to year. For instance, for last Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent, Luke 21:25-33. We hear the parable of the fig tree and Christ’s “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away,” every year.

    This year, it happens that the OF reading is similar, though not identical, Lk 21:25-28, 34-36. But in other years its Mk 13:33-37 and in other years its Matthew 24:37-44. I find (having spent a number of years attending both forms on Sundays) that it doesn’t stick in the mind the same way. Just because something is valuable in itself, having a greater variety of it doesn’t necessarily make you better off. Having half a brownie and half a bowl of ice cream isn’t necessarily more satisfying than just having a bowl of ice cream. Is a horseman with three horses across which he splits his time better off than one who always rides a favorite? He can’t know them as well as if he rides the same one all the time. To have strong associations with the Gospels helps to fix them in our minds so that we can carry them with us always, not just when we’re at liturgy.

    The same thing presents itself with the prefaces. There’s now a huge variety. But I know by heart this catechism of the Trinity: “Ut in confessione veræ sempiternæque Deitatis, et in personis proprietas, et in essentia unitas, et in maiestate adoretur æqualitas.” I don’t know any of the many NO ordinary time prefaces the same way.

    1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #51:
      On the other hand, I like having three distinct explorations during the season of Lent. My RCIA colleagues notwithstanding, I like exploring in turn baptism, discipleship, and penance in subsequent years.

      Your observations about Advent are interesting, given the general sameness of Sundays two through four.

      But I think of it as having a brownie one night, ice cream the next, and apple pie the third. Chocolate, dairy, and fruit, each in turn, all good.

      And as for the link, didn’t the priest sit for the Gloria, too? That struck me as disengaged and irreverent.

      1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #54:

        While I am fond of food, and analogies based on chocolate cake, the real ‘analogy’ is the gospels. For almost 2000 years, we have had 4 gospels, not one. The 3 year lectionary gives us a similar diversity. The one year, as described by SJH, creates the impression that there is one canonized version.

  30. Hello Fr. Joncas,

    Oh, I’m just too much of a tease…and now I’ve thrown the thread down a rabbit hole.

    Could Mr. Malcolm expand on his comment at #37 that he “regrets to say” that ordinariate parishes are “forced” to use the three year (presumably Sunday) lectionary? Does he regret this because he feels that the one-year Sunday lectionary of the MR1570/1962 correlates most closely with these chants and prayers?

    An argument could be made for that, but – the broad point is that when it comes to mass readings, I believe, with the Fathers, that depth beats breadth. The more readings are multiplied, the easier it is to lose them in the crowd,and the more difficult it is draw connections between them. And there is a tremendous value in a ready association of a set of readings with a given day in the calendar.

    The Council in Sacrosanctum Concilium called for “more reading from holy scripture.” (SC 35.1) This was understandably driven by concern that scriptural literacy among Catholics was not what it could be (and it wasn’t). But I have come to think that the Council’s concern was misplaced, at least in so far as it concluded that the mass was a proper place in which to supply this deficiency. While the mass does teach us, it is not a didactic exercise. The place for deeper connection with the Scripture has always been the Office. Unfortunately, conciliar hopes that greater resort to the Office would take place among the laity really hasn’t taken place, either. Meanwhile, by a number of measures, scriptural literacy among Catholics appears, in the main, to be even worse than fifty years ago.

    In short, the ancient, unbroken tradition of a one year lectionary was cast aside imprudently – for good intentions, but imprudently. Thus, as Sam puts it aptly: “The means adopted were not well fitted to the end and had costs that the authors did not realize.”

  31. There are many of us who appreciate the EF Mass and its potentials when it comes to applying some of SC’s thoughts to it. There are many of us who love the OF Mass and its renewal but pray that it will become more like the EF. By that I mean a recovery of what was lost under the pretext of “resourcement” and manufacturing a new liturgy without really consulting anyone but academics and bishops. What is happening now is anything but clerical and may well lead to a reformed post Vatican II Mass that isn’t that much different than the EF Mass is. Certainly for many of us, the revised lectionary is a goldmine and has gotten into our blood. Why not add a “year D” and make it the Sunday lectionary of the EF? Why not return to the private prayers of the priest? Why not mandate some Latin and then be true to what SC actually envisioned?
    Yes, let’s have the congregation singing their parts and the priest joining them and avoid two separate things going on at the same time; the 1965 version of the EF Mass did require this. We truly are in a “New Liturgical Movement” and I think we should rejoice in it.

  32. Hello Jackson,

    Oh, to be sure, attitudes on the lectionary (as in other matters) vary within the Ordinariate. Some are more traditionally minded than others – though I think we all agree about the translation.

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #57:
      I can see the advantages and disadvantages of both lectionaries. It’s not a make-or-break thing to me.

      One year lectionaries have a long tradition, the advantage of intimate familiarity with scripture, and are still used by some (all?) Eastern rites and Churches, not to mention some Protestants. To act as if it is a major impoverishment of the EF seems unfounded and anti-ecumenical.

  33. In Summorum Pontificum the Holy Father writes, “These two expressions of the Church’s Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church’s ‘Lex credendi’ (Law of belief).” I worry that this premise is incorrect, and the liberalization of the celebration of the Extraordinary Form is leading us down a path of great division. The theology and ecclesiology expressed by the two forms is not the same. We are being formed in different directions, so that, as evidenced above, when we try to have a conversation, we don’t even share a common language or motive. Profoundly disappointing.

  34. The notion that the so-called Tridentine Rite represents an unchanged or unchangeable liturgy is just not sustainable on the factual level. While it is true that there is a relative stability in the Order of Mass from the Late Middle Ages onwards and certainly from after the Council of Trent, three important elements continue to be subject to development and therefore change:
    – propers are added and sometimes subtracted from Missals which tend to represent local usages
    – ceremonial elements within the liturgy are subject to a shift of emphasis (patterns of reception of Holy Communion, for instance)
    – the music used at Mass continues to develop as does the balance between who does what
    In his scholarly research, Fr Anthony Ruff explains the complex and relatively late codification of some aspects of chant. The chant that is used now being largely the work of scholarly reconstruction from ancient manuscripts at Solesmes from the mid nineteenth century onwards.

    The Mass recorded in the video I cited, demonstrates an approach to the liturgy that would have been uncommon before the early twentieth century, particularly in terms of the sung congregational participation. In France, where this approach is much more common, especially in monastic communities and large parishes, celebrations of the Extraordinary form show far greater evidence of the thinking of the Liturgical Movement and consequently have a greater commonality with aspects of the Ordinary Form.

  35. Fr. Joncas, I can understand what Richard Malcolm is getting at. On my journey to the Catholic Church, came through the ECUSA. I was raised in an Anabaptist tradition (the Church of the Brethren) but really came to love the (reformed) Anglican liturgy. After some time, though, I really “reverted” to the 1928 BCP: the language of mass and office were very beautiful, and one did start to (mentally) associate certain gospel passages every year with feasts, etc. That sort of “liturgical memory” is less possible with the 3 year Sunday lectionary, and frankly, I don’t mind hearing the Sunday readings during ferial days (ala EF) at all.

    I suppose the difference is the milieu: I was raised in a profoundly scriptural tradition, where “not reading the bible” was simply not something anyone considered. Even people who were fairly disinterested in their faith at least read some and were familiar with some passages. I realize this often does not exist in Latin Rite circles in the US, but there is no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. People won’t really “learn” scripture in a meaningful way just from hearing it proclaimed at Mass: they’ll need to make a commitment to do this in their own lives, on their own time. Most Catholic priests (if you beg pardon) across many ideological lines fail to encourage the familiarity with scripture that is the “expressway” to knowledge of God.

  36. Guardini touches on this issue at the beginning of The Spirit of the Liturgy:

    The primary and exclusive aim of the liturgy is not the expression of the individual’s reverence and worship for God. It is not even concerned with the awakening, formation, and sanctification of the individual soul as such. Nor does the onus of liturgical action and prayer rest with the individual. It does not even rest with the collective groups, composed of numerous individuals, who periodically achieve a limited and intermittent unity in their capacity as the congregation of a church. The liturgical entity consists rather of the united body of the faithful as such–the Church–a body which infinitely outnumbers the mere congregation. The liturgy is the Church’s public and lawful act of worship, and it is performed and conducted by the officials whom the Church herself has designated for the post–her priests. In the liturgy God is to be honored by the body of the faithful, and the latter is in its turn to derive sanctification from this act of worship. It is important that this objective nature of the liturgy should be fully understood.

    This “objective nature” makes liturgy the act of “designated officials” (priests) from which the faithful derive something but give nothing. Unlike the Sabbath, man is made for the liturgy, not liturgy for man. Active participation is superfluous, even impossible.

    I do not think this is a fair characterization of Guardini, but cite it only as the epitome of a certain ‘Tridentine’ theology. As Msgr Wadworth points out, active participation is possible in both EF & OF. That possibility in the EF rests alongside the possibility in this quote, where participation is superfluous. This is where questions arise about lay people’s involvement in the EF IMO.

  37. Fr. Allan J. McDonald : @Jonathan Day – comment #52: I find it a puzzle too, to have the Dismissal first and the Blessing last; however, I have been to Lutheran, Methodist and Episcopal (Anglican) liturgies where the Dismissal is given first, the Recessional Hymn is sung and the liturgical procession leaves the sanctuary and when all have finished singing the recessional hymn, from the entrance of the Church, the minister offers the blessing and then all depart.

    I see the dismissal and blessing as one act – tied together.

    One could ask why there needs to be a recessional hymn after the dismissal, or why so many churches let the congregation know not to leave until the priest has made it all the way down the isle and out the door first. If the dismissal is truly the end, then shouldn’t the congregation leave the moment the priest dismisses them? Why have everyone stand around after the priest told them to go?

  38. Hello Jeff,

    I worry that this premise is incorrect, and the liberalization of the celebration of the Extraordinary Form is leading us down a path of great division. The theology and ecclesiology expressed by the two forms is not the same.

    The former is a fair concern, although some might suggest that the divide was there, and growing, a state of affairs unlikely to change much no matter what Pope Benedict did or did not do.

    But your latter point is pregnant with difficulties. Reading Missale Romanum, it strikes me that Paul VI didn’t seem to think that he was promulgating a new missal with a theology or ecclesiology fundamentally different from that which had followed before, and it goes without saying that all the Popes since then have not thought otherwise, either.

    Of course, there are those who *do* think that the theology and ecclesiology of each form really *is* very different. On the right, you can find them among the SSPX, at least. On the left…you can certainly find those who think that as well. The difference is that they think that this rupture is a *good* thing.

    If they really are different in this way, it raises some critical questions, and it certainly calls into doubt the proposition enunciated by Benedict XVI that these missals are merely forms of the same rite. If Paul VI brought forth a new missal with a very different theology from the old one as a replacement for the entire Roman Rite church, isn’t that a condemnation of the theology of the old missal?

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #66:
      I agree that it does raise some critical questions. The two missals are of the same rite, but reflective of two very different points in time. The Extraordinary Form reflects theology and ecclesiology developed up until 1570. The Ordinary Form better reflects our beliefs as a church over our entire 2000 year history. It considers the developments of the last 442 years, and thus retains so many elements from the Extraordinary Form. It also better reflects early church practice, due to the enormous scholarship accomplished in that field in modern times. So I choose to promote the form that is rooted our entire experience as a church. I don’t believe Paul VI brought forth the new missal to condemn the old one, but to correct its rather narrow vision of God and the Body of Christ.

  39. Hello Msgr. Wadsworth,

    While it is true that there is a relative stability in the Order of Mass from the Late Middle Ages onwards and certainly from after the Council of Trent, three important elements continue to be subject to development and therefore change…

    I think you raise an interesting point – we know that the mass was not ever frozen in amber (if I may use that expression), not even after Pius V. And yet, with respect, I have difficulty calling the changes you note “important.” Significant in some way, to be sure, but . . .

    Minor changes to the rubrics, or new musical expressions do not seem to me to really alter the missal itself in any substantive way. Additions or subtractions of new propers (and of course collects, as new saints are added) are certainly noteworthy, but these amount to very, very small aspects of the form of the mass. While the immutability of the old Roman Rite can be overstated, I still must say that I am struck by the stability (as you put it) of the fixed order of the mass, the lectionary, the calendar, and the collects from the Middle Ages onward. And this is certainly even more the case with the Divine Liturgy.

    Certainly, neither rite had experienced so much change as occurred – all at once, in one fell swoop – with the promulgation of the new order of the mass in 1969. Overstating the case for change over time has its dangers too, ones that make it easier to overlook what an enormous change occurred in 1969/1970 – and yes, I realize that touches on my concern that I just raised with Jeff about whether the ordinary form changes so much from the extraordinary that it even has a different theology.

    P.S. Thanks to Jack Wayne and Bruce Ludwick for their helpful interjections on my point about the three year versus one year lectionary debate.

  40. In the 1940s, Msgr. Martin Hellriegel robustly implemented the principles of the liturgical reform movement in his working-class parish, Holy Cross in north St. Louis. Within a few years time, he was able to engage the whole parish in singing the ordinary of the Mass. “Today, the people sing: Masses 1, 4, 9, 11, 17 and 18; the children sing: 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 17, 18, and selections from the ad libitum.” I have heard several firsthand accounts that the church rang with powerful singing every day of the week.

    The good Msgr. was not without critics–many complained that his work was anti-liturgical and influenced by Protestantism. A number of people left the parish in protest, a scandal in those days. Yet many more came from miles around as his notoriety spread. I understand that on several occasions he found himself before the bishop explaining himself, seemingly treading on thin ice. An interesting chapter in liturgical history. See: http://www.adoremus.org/11-00-Hellriegel.html

  41. Thanks to both Jeff and Scott – it gets back to what Fr. Ruff says repeatedly – at the core, it is about ECCLESIOLOGY.

    Jeff – you say it well:
    “The Ordinary Form better reflects our beliefs as a church over our entire 2000 year history. It considers the developments of the last 442 years, and thus retains so many elements from the Extraordinary Form. It also better reflects early church practice, due to the enormous scholarship accomplished in that field in modern times. So I choose to promote the form that is rooted our entire experience as a church. I don’t believe Paul VI brought forth the new missal to condemn the old one, but to correct its rather narrow vision of God and the Body of Christ.” (a pretty good statement of reform within continuity)

  42. The EF is intimately related to the Church of the last 442 years, though, being her primary form of worship for that time.

    It seems to me that the Latin Rite looked and felt more like the EF than the OF for the *vast* majority of its existence. As to whether or not the OF is more closely related to early Christian worship seems more like speculation and guesswork.

    1. @Jack Wayne – comment #71:
      Jack,
      To call it just “speculation and guesswork” is a bit dismissive. There is solid scholarship on worship in early centuries, so we’re by no means totally in the dark. We don’t know everything but we have a pretty good sense, and we’re very confident that the church’s worship in early centuries was very, very different from the “Tridentine” Mass.
      awr

  43. At my parish, we celebrated the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception as an Extraordinary Form High Mass (in which, for the first time at one of these High Masses, I did not use incense, which is an option). But we had a small schola and a program indicating where all the Jubilatio Deo Mass parts in Latin are in our St. Michael Hymnal. These parts, except for the Credo, are well know by the congregation. It was the largest congregation we’ve had for an EF Mass since implementing it five years ago, almost 300. There were several young people there and several high school boys from our Catholic school who had been on a field trip earlier in the day. I asked them if they had attended one of these Masses before and they told me no. I asked them what they thought of it. All of them almost in unison said, “awesome!” Of course we’ll have to have some mystogogia time with them on their experience with it. I do believe that this form of the Mass does capture the imagination of the young (and there were many, many young children there last night). I also think that young men are particularly attracted to its style and discipline.
    In terms of what Bill says is the core of the Ordinary Form (ecclesiology) I would say he hit the nail on the head with that one. Who in their right mind would place ecclesiology as the core of the Mass over the Christological and soteriological foundation and core, which evidently the EF Mass emphasizes in a superior way than the OF that Bill admits focuses on ecclesiology–the horizontal aspect of the Church? But with that said, a more nuanced Vatican II ecclesiology, which I understand is not defined in any different dogmatic way from pre-Vatican II times, can easily be applied to the EF Mass but it certainly is not its core and thank God for that.
    I think Cardinal Ratzinger hit the nail on the head too, several years prior to his papacy with this article on ecclesiology and Vatican II’s emphasis on God first and church order second:
    http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=3920&repos=1&subrepos=&searchid=292722

  44. Some “money quotes” from Cardinal Ratzinger which I link above:
    “…the Second Vatican Council clearly wanted to speak of the Church within the discourse on God, to subordinate the discourse on the Church to the discourse on God and to offer an ecclesiology that would be theological in a true sense. Until now, however, the way the Council was received has ignored this qualifying characteristic in favour of individual ecclesiological affirmations; it has highlighted single phrases that are easy to repeat, and has thus fallen away from the broad horizons of the Council Fathers. Something similar can be said about the first text on which the Second Vatican Council focused — the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. The fact that it was placed at the beginning was basically due to pragmatic motives. But retrospectively, it must be said that it has a deeper meaning within the structure of the Council: adoration comes first. Therefore God comes first. This introduction corresponds to the norm of the Benedictine Rule: Operi Dei nihil praeponatur [Let nothing be placed before the work of God, the divine office]. As the second text of the Council, the Constitution on the Church should be considered as inwardly connected with the text on the liturgy. The Church is guided by prayer, by the mission of glorifying God. By its nature, ecclesiology is connected with the liturgy. It is, therefore, logical that the third Constitution should speak of the Word of God that convokes the Church and renews her in every age. The fourth Constitution shows how the glorification of God is realized in the active life, since the light received from God is carried into the world and only in this way becomes fully the glorification of God. In the history of the post-Conciliar period, the Constitution on the Liturgy was certainly no longer understood from the viewpoint of the basic primacy of adoration, but rather as a recipe book of what we can do with the Liturgy. In the meantime, the fact that the Liturgy is actually “made” for God and not for ourselves, seems to have escaped the minds of those who are busy pondering how to give the Liturgy an ever more attractive and communicable shape, actively involving an ever greater number of people. However the more we make it for ourselves, the less attractive it is, because everyone perceives clearly that the essential focus on God has increasingly been lost.
    … the Church does not exist for herself, but must be God’s instrument, in order to gather man to Himself to prepare for the moment when “God will be all in all” (I Cor 15, 28). It was the concept of God that lost out in the “fireworks” sparked by the expression, and in this way the expression, People of God, lost its meaning. In fact, a Church that exists for herself alone is superfluous. And people notice it immediately. The crisis of the Church as it is reflected in the concept of People of God, is a “crisis of God”; it is the consequence of abandoning the essential. What remains is merely a struggle for power. There is enough of this elsewhere in the world, there is no need of the Church for this…”

    1. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #73:

      I am very surprised that Ratzinger actually wrote the Liturgy is actually “made” for God and not for ourselves… Isn’t the scriptural allusion problematic?

      Beyond that is the issue of whether God needs, or is in any way affected by, anything that we do. The liturgy is for the people, so that they may share in Christ’s redeeming work.

      And the liturgy is not about adoration, as he says in another surprising passage. It is about God loving us enough to give His Son to us, for us. Our response is adoration, praise and worship, which we express in the liturgy. But the purpose of the liturgy is not that adoration, but that we share in the great love God has for us by allying ourselves with Christ.

      I suspect that this is actually what Ratzinger was saying, and I am taking some small phrases out of context. But it does get to the heart of this thread. Is there a reason for the liturgy, if it is not for us? How actively can people participate in EF or OF if their presence is superfluous?

      1. @Jim McKay – comment #80:
        I think we can make circular arguments about divine initiative. Salvation is a gift, but the receiver has to, well, receive it doesn’t he or she? God has no need of our thanks, but our ability to give Him thanks is itself His gift. So anything that leads to our salvation including the Church and her sacramental system are given to us for us and our salvation–by God. No one allies oneself to God if not for God’s grace to begin with. In other words we can’t save ourselves by our own act of the will–for even if we are able, God could have chosen not to save us anyway. Of course, we do know that He does want to save us, but by His grace not our abilities.

  45. Fr. Allan J. McDonald : At my parish, we celebrated the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception as an Extraordinary Form High Mass (in which, for the first time at one of these High Masses, I did not use incense, which is an option).

    Fr Allan, as I read both Fortescue (1939) and the Ritus Servandus (1962), incense is required, not optional, at any High Mass.

    See, e.g. §IV. 4.

    In Missa solemni sacerdos facta confessione ascendit cum ministris ad medium altaris … et osculato altari, ponit incensum in thuribulo, ministrante diacono naviculam, et thuriferario thuribulum … Celebrans ter incensum ponit in thuribulo, dicens interim: (etc.)

    Is my reading incorrect? Or has this rubric been changed? Or is there an issue of “say the black, do the red” here?

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #74:
      I am truly grateful to God that you have had a conversion to “say the black and do the red” whereas I’ve always been a bit more flexible but insisting on the rules as any good Italian would, but then….
      But I do believe that the Solemn High Mass, with deacon and sub deacon is the norm and all other forms of the Tridentine Mass are pastoral adaptations developed over time allowing for less solemnity, ceremony and incense, in the so-called high and low Masses, that unfortunately in practice became the norm and not the Solemn Sung Mass. So the High Mass, or Sung Mass without deacon or sub deacon is more a glorified Low Mass and far from a Solemn Sung Mass, so I do believe there is pastoral flexibility here and that the priest isn’t necessarily required to chant the Epistle or Gospel, let alone use incense. But I could be wrong, so I’m looking forward to others chiming in on this.

      But with that said, I think Cardinal Ratzinger’s critique of progressive theologians’ emphasis on “people of God” and ecclesiology as an end unto itself and particularly to the OF Mass is far more important than the use or non-use of incense–it is at the core of so much rubbish being sold to us today as Vatican II when in reality it is more about anarchy and power plays and changing the Church for political gain.

      1. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #75:
        Allan – you say: “Cardinal Ratzinger’s critique of progressive theologians’ emphasis on “people of God” and ecclesiology as an end unto itself and particularly to the OF Mass is far more important than the use or non-use of incense–it is at the core of so much rubbish being sold to us today as Vatican II when in reality it is more about anarchy and power plays and changing the Church for political gain.”

        Suggest that you are confused. The focus on *people of God* was a central theme of the council fathers (not progressive theologians). Ecclesiology is not *and end unto itself*; it is an expression of how the church lives.

        *…rubbish being sold to us today as Vatican II* – only in your confused, alternate universe since you seem to have missed a central theme of Vatican II.

        Seem pretty defensive about the *lack of incense* which means what – you have to exaggerate and make sweeping generalizations about *reality as anarchy, power plays and political gain*….really, sound more like a small percentage of EF/TLM extremists who quote and repeatly takes things out of context to justify their personal hobbyhorses.
        (keep in mind – your Ratzinger quotes merely give one man’s opinion that current research, historical theology, and Vatican II historians do not support in terms of peer review; professional standards; etc. As Fr. Ruff repeatedly cites – we really only have the Alberigo school’s works and books such as John O’Malley, SJ which lay out a different hermeneutical consensus and conclusion about the council)

      2. @Bill deHaas – comment #78:
        Bill it all hinges on which school one chooses, and I have chosen to be a disciple of Christ first and then of Joseph Ratzinger as it concerns the interpretation of Vatican II. I think I am free to do so as you are with your choices. But I choose not to dogmatize anything in Vatican II that is clearly pastoral and thus limited by the historical agenda of that day which then changes as time passes. The only dogma that I am aware of in Vatican II is simply a reiteration of what other Councils made dogmas or previous popes. That I accept as dogma while open to new theological constructs to express old dogmas in a newer way. BTW, I’m quite secure in both forms of our one Roman Rite, incense notwithstanding. As well, I’m flexible in both expressions of the same mysteries of Christ and His redemption offered in both forms of the one Roman Rite!

      3. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #81:
        Sounds pretty 1970ish and cafeteria style catholic approach.

        Here you go – from a fellow pastor:

        http://ncronline.org/node/40386

        Money quotes:
        “Pope Paul VI also understood this. The rejection of the Vatican II liturgy is a rejection of its ecclesiology and theology. In his newly published book True Reform: Liturgy and Ecclesiology in Sacrosanctum Concilium, Massimo Faggioli narrates Paul’s response when his philosopher friend Jean Guitton asked why not concede the 1962 missal to breakaway Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and his followers. Paul responded:

        Never. This Mass … becomes the symbol of the condemnation of the council. I will not accept, under any circumstances, the condemnation of the council through a symbol. Should this exception to the liturgy of Vatican II have its way, the entire council would be shaken. And, as a consequence, the apostolic authority of the council would be shaken.

        Paul knew that permitting the old form would be not only divisive but would call the whole council into doubt, and that would be a sin against the Holy Spirit. Now we are experiencing the unfortunate fruit of the recent permission to celebrate the extraordinary form.

        The definition of who we are as church comes alive in the liturgy. Vatican II described the church as a priestly people called on a mission. This priesthood is rooted in our baptism. Once Pope John Paul II was asked what was the most important day in his life. He replied, “The day I was baptized.”

        In her article “Summorum Pontificum and the Unmaking of the Lay Church” (Worship, July 2012), scholar Georgia Masters Keightley identifies those elements recovered by the council from the ancient church. These express the active exercise of the priestly people of God: the prayer of the faithful, the offertory procession and the kiss of peace. These were visible signs that expressed the church’s priesthood. These signs incarnate for the priesthood of all believers the task to proclaim the Gospel and to make intercession for the world and all people.”

        The 1570 missal (the basis of the 1962 missal) was, and continues to be, a liturgy in which the baptized — once subjects of the liturgy and co-celebrants of the eucharistic sacrifice — were and are reduced to mere spectators. They are there to watch the priest say “his” Mass. The emphasis is hierarchical and legalistic (who has the power and how are they lawfully exercising that power). Rather than the risen Christ working through the whole people of God (lay and ordained), we have a powerful clergy ministering to a passive people. Instead of church as sacrament, we have church as a juridical hierarchy.

      4. @Bill deHaas – comment #83:
        Quoting NCR is like quoting the Remnant. And almost anyone who contributes to it is suspect, except for of course John Allen. His name saves him. And yes, in terms of the hermeneutic of rupture, we might see it defined as a heresy this year of faith, but of course I’m not clairvoyant or am I? 🙂

      5. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #87:
        I didn’t quote NCR – quoted a responsible pastor who has concerns and can write a well articulated and analyzed perspective. You might want to give it a try some day – it is different from rambling on your own blog post (where opinions, generalizations, inaccuracies, etc. are allowed to stand).

        And he quotes from a recently published book by a recognized liturgical expert and from Worship magazine that publishes peer reviewed articles and research. (not sure you get that)

        NCR at least is recognized by catholic publishers with journalistic awards every year. Things like Remnant, Crisis, and the Wanderer – well nuf said.

      6. @Bill deHaas – comment #90:

        Bill,

        Fr. Schmit isn’t making appropriate distinctions. His logic, summed up, is “Abp. Lefebvre, who preferred the old Mass, rejected the Council. This new group prefers the old Mass, therefore they must reject the Council.”

        He would do better to try to know and understand people who attend the EF communities (especially those comprised largely of folks too young to remember the time before Vatican II). Were he to do so, I suspect that he would find that his fears are unwarranted and his prejudices about the people who attend the EF Mass are inappropriate. They too can be the “priestly people of God” and “a Spirit-filled people on fire with an urgent sense of mission”.

        I suspect they would even be able to do this better if they didn’t have to constantly defend their legitimate right to exist.

      7. @Bill deHaas – comment #83:
        “Paul knew that permitting the old form would be not only divisive but would call the whole council into doubt, and that would be a sin against the Holy Spirit.”
        This interpretation of Paul VI’s thinking falls apart when one considers that Paul VI granted the “Agatha Christie indult” permitting the EF in England & Wales. There also were other places where the liturgy remained in a quasi “unreformed” state throughout his reign: Lithuania comes to mind and even the Scots maintained the old low Mass kneeling posture for the Introductory Rites.

    2. @Jonathan Day – comment #74:

      Jonathan, the use of incense and the accompanying prayers were for a long time permitted only for solemn Mass. Often priests used incense at a missa cantata anyway. This practice was a “tolerated abuse” until relatively recently (early 20th century?)

    3. @Jonathan Day – comment #74:
      Pond issue, I believe.

      Solemn Mass–incense required.
      High Mass/Missa Cantata–incense used to be forbidden, then a tolerated abuse, now permitted. The common practice is to use it.
      Low Mass–incense forbidden.

      1. @Cameron Neal – comment #84:
        And in today’s OF Mass incense is always encouraged on Sundays and Holy Days. This aspect of the reform seems to be one of the most neglected probably due to the ingrained low Mass culture.

  46. For heaven’s sake, Allan, there were three hundred people there because it was the vigil Mass. They’re probably Saturday nighters who didn’t want to have to come to mass twice on Saturday. So a couple of young people thought it was awesome. Are you thinking that teens use that word reflectively? Your their priest and they have to adapt to your approach to things. How close is the nearest parish they can go to as an alternative?

    1. @Jack Feehily – comment #84:
      Three blocks, guitars & all! And those kids had just gotten back from their field trip to Conyers, Ga. Trappist monastery where earlier they celebrated Mass for St. Ambrose with my parochial vicar.

    2. @Jack Feehily – comment #85:

      Why must it be beyond belief that young people might actually desire and enjoy Mass in the Extraordinary Form?

      Granted, to understand why it is “awesome” takes time — but I know in my case that I am a much better Catholic, and that I understand and can enter into a better quality of prayer at the Ordinary Form Mass as a result of my attendance at and study of the Extraordinary Form.

  47. Circling back to the question I raised at the top, I wonder how the traditional Mass of the Roman Rite might have evolved differently had the sacramental participation of the general faithful been kept very frequent.

  48. Sorry, don’t agree with your interpretations nor your summation of both his *logic* or his *motivations* especially your *appropriate distinctions* – meaning what, pray tell? He never said they rejected the Council – he qualified that and expressed well developed concerns about some of the indults and exceptions. (are we back to your earlier *traditionlists vs. neo-conservative theories? did you discuss these with Fr. Swift? What did he say; inquiring minds want to know?)

    Actually, in my experience and reading some of the commenters on PTB, his fears and prejudices (your descriptive words) are warranted especially when you start to draw conclusions about folks too young to remember the time before Vatican II – can I expand and also say that they do not remember, much less, understand Vatican II?

    Fine, as Jordan prods me at times, no problem with their *legitimate* right to exist as long as that is kept in proper perspective – for the aged, for good spiritual reasons; etc. (guessing that these types of *grandfather* reasons are almost at the end time and like any good sunshine provisions, need to be retired)

  49. Mr. McKernan – not exactly. Unless you can read Paul VI’s mind, would suggest that specific episocpal conferences lobbied for these specific, time limited indults. Thus, Paul VI made decisions based upon another council principle – collegiality and SC’s directive that local liturgical decisions belong to that specific conference. Thus, he allowed/permitted local decisions to be made. You are taking local exceptions, time limited, and geographical in nature and drawing universal conclusions. Not logical.

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #95:
      Were those the facts, you might have a point. Unfortunately, the indult Paul VI issued was neither time limited nor issued in response to an episcopal conference.

      Neither were the indults issued by Pope John Paul II, nor was the permission given by Pope Benedict.

      1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #96:
        Technically, can’t diagree with your point. OTOH, not sure that Paul VI saw his indult as anything else but an *exception* – if you read from 1965, you see his exceptions defined…..primarily, these exceptions would eventually via age/death go away. But, you are correct that a timeline of successive indults or MPs continued to expand the exceptions and definitions of whom they apply.
        Sorry, the indult called Agatha Christi was in direct response to the English conference of bishops.
        The successive indults or MPs are more difficult to characterize – in some, conferences of bishops are mentioned and the specific pope mentions calling upon episcopal conferences for feedback; in others, it appears to not really qualify who was asked – curial officials, conference heads, etc.?
        It does seem that you can draw a pattern in terms of indults constantly expanding the exceptions – even when episcopal conferences asked the opposite; JPII/B16/Ratzinger seemed to push back and write as if conferences are resisting earlier indults, etc.

        One of the suggestions in Archbishop John Quinn’s book about curial reform was that MPs, indults, etc. should have time limits – still sounds like a good idea.

      2. @Bill deHaas – comment #98:
        Sorry, the indult called Agatha Christi was in direct response to the English conference of bishops.

        It’s called the Agatha Christi indult because it was famously in response to a petition by Catholic and non-Catholic intellectuals/writers/artists/religious leaders etc. and not an initiative of the Bishops’ Conference.

      3. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #100:
        Here you go, SLH – “The petition noted the exceptional artistic and cultural heritage of the Tridentine liturgy, and was signed by many prominent non-Catholic figures in British society, including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Agatha Christie, Kenneth Clark, Robert Graves, F. R. Leavis, Cecil Day-Lewis, Nancy Mitford, Iris Murdoch, Yehudi Menuhin, Joan Sutherland and two Anglican Bishops, those of Exeter and Ripon.
        John Cardinal Heenan approached Pope Paul VI and asked that use of the Tridentine Mass be permitted. On 5 November 1971, the Pope granted the request”

        Guess it depends upon where you put the stress – my read is with Cdl. Heenan – not sure the petition would have resulted in anything.

      4. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #3:
        Mr. Howard – guess it depends upon what you want to emphasize. Given Heenan’s views expressed during Vatican II and subsequently, we know that:
        – letter is published and conveyed to Rome by Msgr. MacDonald
        – but, nothing happens until Heenan had a private meeting with Paul VI (10/30/71) who approves (mythic story says that Paul VI saw AC’s signature and from then on it was called the AC Indult)
        – the rest of the story from Bugnini’s book:

        “…..informed Cardinal Heenan that Pope Paul VI, by letter of 30th October 1971, had given special faculties to the Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship to convey to His Eminence, as Chairman of the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales, that it was permitted to the local Ordinaries of England and Wales to grant that certain groups of the faithful may on special occasions be allowed to participate in the Mass celebrated according to the rites and texts of the former Roman Missal. The Missal to be used on these occasions should be that published by the decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites (27 Jan.1965), and with the modifications in the Instructio altera (4 May 1967).

        Under separate cover you will have received the letter expressing the mind of the Holy Father regarding Your Eminence’s request of 29th October 1971. His Holiness knows well that Your Eminence will ensure that this permission is granted with that prudence and reserve that the matter requires. It is also very desirable that the permission be given without too much publicity. As I write I am reminded about this time last year we celebrated the canonization of the Forty Martyrs. That canonization remains one of the best liturgical celebrations I have seen in St. Peter’s, a fine blend of the old and the new”.

        Subsequently:

        On 22nd November Cardinal Heenan wrote to Mr. Geoffrey Houghton-Brown, the Chairman of The Latin Mass Society, and informed him that at the last bishops’ meeting he had reported on a private audience he had with Pope Paul. He had expressed sorrow that some Catholics opposed to reform of the liturgy had spoken offensively of the Holy Father. He said, however, that he had sympathy with the few Catholics who, while loyally accepting the reforms, felt certain nostalgia for the old rite. The Pope had not regarded this attitude as unreasonable and would not absolutely forbid occasional use of the Roman Mass (according to the decree of 1965: amended 1967) provided all danger of division is avoided. In his diocese, he said, he was quite willing for the old rite to be used on special occasions.”

      5. @Bill deHaas – comment #98:
        Thinking a time limit is a good idea and acting as if there really is one are two different things.

        A time limit would be a horrible idea, and I really don’t know how anyone could think otherwise regardless of what you think of the EF. How can anyone be expected to share their faith with others at a Mass with an expiration date? It seems totally contrary to evangelization, families, etc. to create faith communities that will be disbanded even if they are growing and accomplishing the mission of the Church. What message does that actually send?

        I can see why the indults were expanded despite some bishops wishing otherwise – the prior indult was badly abused.

  50. Bill, you seem to imply that there is some sort of “thought control mafia” at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, and that somehow the very kind director of liturgy who is, by all accounts, a very kind and holy man, is trying to tell the seminarians how to think.

    Sounds an awful lot like what you thought the seminary was like under Cdl. Burke…

    I can see only one common thread in this deluded line of “reasoning”, and it is neither the seminary, a present or previous archbishop, the archdiocese of St. Louis, nor Fr. Swift. Perhaps this will clue you in on who the true problem is.

    With respect, AWR, Bill is making some ridiculous ad hominem remarks to seminarians in his threads lately. I was sure this would come to an end with your gracious posting of the young man from Birmingham who is going to St. John’s, Collegeville, but perhaps I am mistaken.

    1. @Bruce Ludwick, Jr. – comment #97:
      Sorry, Bruce – seem to have poked your sacred cow somewhere and somehow. Never implied anything about a *thought control mafia* (you reading into things or are you just defensive about the factual history of Burke as STL archbishop and resultant impact on the seminary).
      The director of liturgy – not sure where you come up with that conclusion. Can’t speak for that specific director of liturgy but my personal experience of his teaching methods is that he encourages, inspires, and attempts to lay out facts, questions, historical patterns to make a student think for himself and be able to draw good conclusions that may be evidenced via pastoral and liturgical ministry. (so, not *how to think* but suggesting a method of analysis that will help an ordinand in ministry. Sort of a historical-critical method of thought applied to liturgy and ministry)
      Actually, do not provide my opinion about what the seminary was like under Cdl. Burke – but can give you details from actual professors. Tensions between a bishop/Cdl and his seminary staff is fairly typical – happens all the time. Most seminary staffs also have their differences of opiinion, direction, etc. That type of tension can be both good and bad. Requires leadership to move it in the appropriate direction to build unity and graduate qualifed, competent ordinands.
      Not making any ad hominem attacks (your characterization). Did specifically ask a seminarian commentor to discuss his posts with a Glennon-Kenrick professor – as Fr. Ruff constantly reminds us – don’t attack the poster; argue the ideas, facts, opinions posted. Made that suggestion in an attempt to get at the ideas and thoughts; if you thought it was an attack, my apologies. Note – have also responded to some of the St. John students who have posted – was that also ad hominem?

      1. @Clarence Goodwright – comment #6:
        Mr. Goodwright – sorry, have you confused with someone else, I guess. You have signed off as a seminarian and *recovering traditionalist* in the past and thought you stated you attended Glennon-Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis. Fr. Swift is on faculty there and teaches liturgy.

        Sorry.

      2. @Bill deHaas – comment #7:

        You have signed off as a seminarian and *recovering traditionalist* in the past and thought you stated you attended Glennon-Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis. Fr. Swift is on faculty there and teaches liturgy.

        The first part is true, at least insofar as I’m trying to shed off all the remnants of the radical traditionalism that I’ve been trying to push back from for the last several years — though I’ve probably pushed back about as far as I will. Holy Mother Church has a place for me as I am.

        As for the rest, it’s not a problem.

        Regards,

        Clarence

  51. Bill, I think you should re-read your post, then re-read your comments to the seminarian. If you don’t even know that Fr. Swift is the director of liturgy at K-G now, perhaps you are less qualified than you suppose yourself to be to comment on the state of the seminary. You would also know very little is the same now in said seminary as under Cdl. Burke: I make no judgment, but it is clear to any observer.

    You really should re-read: I’m sure an individual seminary professor has no interest in what a student says on a blog, provided it is not untrue or scandalous…and why on earth should a seminarian think he has to run everything by a professor? Is that “pastoral”? Comments like
    (are we back to your earlier *traditionlists vs. neo-conservative theories? did you discuss these with Fr. Swift? What did he say; inquiring minds want to know?)
    are at best snark, and otherwise mean, unhelpful, and do not contribute to the discussion. In addition, this is not a professional society, but a blog: who care if a poster is a seminarian or not, a cleric or not, a layperson or not, etc.? Deal with comments as you see them on the board: don’t draw inferences from what you know about someone’s “persona”. This is one of the most frustrating things about PTB!

  52. Calling it the Agatha Christie Indult is a bit twee. I believe it is more usually known as the (Cardinal) Heenan Indult since he, on his own, not on behalf of the Conference, petitioned for it.

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #11:
      Bill, my comment was not in response to you, but to John Robert Francis’s comment, which was not about history but nomenclature. He didn’t say it was innacurate, but that it was “twee” and that it was better known as the “Heenan indult” which is not true.

      I wasn’t going to respond to your comment, but what you have posted from Bugnini’s book doesn’t contradict what I wrote, that “the petition is the reason that Cardinal Heenan went to the Pope in the first place”.

      (You can feel free to reference me as you like, by my last name, first name, or initials, my previous objection about spelling was just to the incorrect initials.)

  53. Hello Sam,

    I always found it interesting – and a little depressing – that the petition to Paul VI was not signed by a single Catholic bishop, but it was signed by two *Anglican* bishops.

    (Of course, Cardinal Heenan apparently did approach the Pope separately about a possible indult. But the rest of the bishops conference wanted nothing to do with it.)

  54. The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales on its official site styles it “The ‘Heenan’ Indult.” That’s good enough for me, but then I am not a traditionalist, whatever that means.

  55. The petition leading to the indult was written by Alfred Marnau, a member of the Latin Mass Society. He wrote to “well-known personalities” and within a few weeks had 57 signatories.

    As noted, many if not most were not Catholic, including Christie and two Anglican bishops. The petition makes it clear that it was not the religious or liturgical value of the old rite that they treasured, but its language:

    We are not at this moment considering the religious or spiritual experience of millions of individuals. The rite in question, in its magnificent Latin text, has also inspired a host of priceless achievements in the arts – not only mystical works, but works by poets, philosophers, musicians, architects, painters and sculptors in all countries and epochs.

    A 1971 article in The Universe describes the petition:

    The letter pointed out that the Tridentine rite … was one of the basic art forms of European culture on which had been based many settings of the Mass by great classical composers. The disappearance of the rite, they complained, would impoverish cultural life.

    As far as I know, there is nothing in the Novus Ordo Missae that would interfere with use of those “settings of the Mass by great classical composers”. As long as the priest is prepared to celebrate in Latin, the “magnificent Latin text” that the petitioners wanted to preserve is virtually the same in both Masses. I doubt that the non-Catholic and non-Christian signatories cared whether the priest faced the apse or the narthex, though of course this also is an option in the normative rite. Most of the (very few) parts of the Tridentine rite that are textually different to the normative rite are said silently in any case, and not set to music.

    Assuming that the “well known personalities” were not simply signing to get rid of an importunate Mr Marnau, or signing because their fellow personalities had already signed, what were they concerned about losing? Did they really know? Was it the Latin? You don’t need Summorum Pontificum to save that.

  56. Perhaps they felt the music should still be used within the context it was written for. Music in the OF seems to have a different place and feel than in the EF, where aside for the Gloria and Credo it covers silent prayers. Structurally the forms are different, regardless of how much of the musical texts are similar, and the music “works” differently in them. A good example would be how many settings have the Sancus and Benedictus split from one another so as not to sing over the consecration – those pieces have to always be sung together in the OF because they to be completed before the Eucharistic Prayer may even start.

    I wonder if many of the great musical settings would have been written differently had they been created for the OF rather than the EF.

    1. @Jack Wayne – comment #16:
      Jack, I am trying to understand your point, but what comes across to me is, roughly, “The EF is a better setting for choral music because the liturgical action doesn’t get in the way of the music.” If that is so, why not simply hire a concert hall and dispense with the spoken prayers altogether?

  57. This whole discussion of the indults seems to have become a gigantic game of “whack-a-mole” – at least among those critical of any celebration of the TLM.

    So: First we had Bill deHaas dismissing the Agatha Christie/Heenan indult – to be followed by interminable wrangling over what to call it – as some presumably reluctant concession by Paul VI to collegiality. Then, given evidence that the petition had no Catholic bishops signing it (and no evidence that any supported it), and Cardinal Heenan’s involvement only post-dating the submission, we now have the proposition (from Mr. Day) that the petition was mostly the result of antiquarian or aesthetic impulses by a largely non-Catholic group of people, some of whom may simply have wanted to get Mr. Marnau out of their parlor. You just can’t win.

    If the indult served any legitimate purpose at all, it was, at least on its face, pastoral, and directed to the body that was the impetus behind the petition: those Catholics in England who, like JRR Tolkien or Alfred Marnau, were still attached to the traditional mass, some of whom at least formed the Latin Mass Society. It may be a testament to Mr. Marnau’s ingenuity and a sad statement about Pope Paul’s impulses that it took the endorsements of high profile non-Catholics who the pontiff thought highly of in order to get their pleas granted. But Giovanni Montini was an enigmatic man.

    No, we don’t need Summorum Pontificum to make assorted British aesthetes and antiquarians happy. We do need it, if we need it at all, to address the spiritual needs of Catholics, whose numbers are (if not massive) not insignificant among mass-goers in (most notably) the U.S., France and Germany, who find it much more efficacious to their spiritual well-being. There are, of course, other motivations, including those of Pope Benedict, which go beyond that in seeing the TLM as a vehicle for repairing deficiencies (as they see it) in the N.O.. But is it so hard to acknowledge that there are real pastoral needs?

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #17:

      Richard: But is it so hard to acknowledge that there are real pastoral needs?

      Suppose that a team of architects, landscapers, interior decorators, and masons built an amazing sprawling modern complex to replace a more than 400-year-old villa. The older villa was, and is, still quite stunning. In its era, the villa hosted some of the most magnificent works of visual art, music, and liturgical poetry which the entire world has ever known. The villa holds in its memory holy people, scholars, musicians, nobility, and the experiences of everyday people. Within this villa still resound sonorous Latin prayers.

      Eventually, the number of Catholics in the world grew exponentially. The old villa could not hold them all. Not a few did not find that older liturgical expressions fit within their cultural experience. Indeed, until the construction of the new complex, the Church could not see itself as anything but Romanitas, orthodoxy enrobed in the remnants of the Roman Empire, protected from the profane by an ossified late Latin dialect.

      The creators of the new complex, a new home, realized that the old villa could not accommodate most Catholics. And so, the creators strove to create a place which could accommodate many cultures, incorporate new means of communication, and provide a greater egalitarianism. Yet, a few who still live in the old villa still wish for the destruction of the new home. A number even curse the creators of the new complex as destroyers of the faith. Have not the creators of the new home striven to accommodate all who come to worship? Is their labor for nothing? No, it is not for nothing, even if at times a traditional Catholic’s walk through the new complex is akin to transversing Pluto. Even EF adherents are welcome in this new home.

      ——

      Many of the participants here on PTB were and are instrumental in creating this new complex, a new home, a new liturgy. Now that we traditional Catholics have been given back the keys to the Tridentine “villa”, we must turn and find a point of admiration in the new home of the reformed liturgy.

      It is not as if shouting from the Tridentine liturgical “home” at the reformed liturgical “home” will engender peace and cooperation. From time to time it is necessary for EF adherents to leave medieval and early modern comfort and give credit where reform deserves credit. The expectation that no credit will be given in return must not stop a continuing desire for mutual respect, reconciliation, and mutual pastoral care.

  58. Richard puts it well. To use Jordan’s apt analogy: suppose a group of elite atheists petitioned the government to fund preservation works at Westminster Abbey. Members of the group rarely set foot in the Abbey, and when they did it wasn’t to pray. But it was pleasing to pass by the glorious building.

    That doesn’t mean others didn’t go in to pray. There may have been genuine pastoral needs met by the indult. The current chairman of the Latin Mass Society positions this as a strategic move:

    I have heard this petition criticised because of its inclusion of non-Catholics. That, of course, was the point of it. Having just, in its wisdom, promulgated the Novus Ordo Missae for the good of souls, the curia wasn’t about to accept the argument that the ancient Mass had to be preserved for the good of souls, made by a bunch of laymen, who weren’t even liturgical scholars. At that moment, another argument had to be used, and I think it was a stroke of genius on Marnau’s part that he appealed to its cultural importance.

    Pope Paul’s assent, as Richard suggests, seems to have been based on something beyond the good of souls. Mr Marnau’s account continues:

    Cardinal Heenan had, indeed, secured a personal audience with the Pope, who, on the 30th October 1971 had granted the request. The story goes that Pope Paul VI was reading quietly through the list of signatories and then suddenly said, “Ah, Agatha Christie!” and signed his approval. It has since been known, informally, in traditional circles as the Agatha Christie Indult.

    My very simple point is that there is nothing in the Latin Novus Ordo that the aesthetes and antiquarians would have missed. Serious worshippers, like Mr Marnau, took offence at (e.g.) Eucharistic Prayer II, which they believed lacked language of sacrifice. But since the prayer would have largely been silent in any case, I cannot imagine that Agatha Christie, Vladimir Ashkenazy and many of the other “well-known personalities” would have had a clue about this particular change.

    Pointing out that the petition was either mildly deceptive or badly understood by its signatories is not the same as rubbishing any celebration of the Tridentine Mass.

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #20:
      Jonathan, I’m not sure it’s so cut-and-dry, although I surely understand what you’re saying. Some utilitarian things that are abrogated were quite different and would be immediately noticeable (i.e., the silent canon).

      Regarding choral Kyries and Glorias of great length in EF vs. OF, I believe it is indeed a lot to ask of the assembly to stand for both, which the rubrics of the OF would indicate is necessary. Herein lies the difficulty of regulating the posture of the assembly. Of course, if people really want to be there to hear the choral work, or worship in that manner, etc., they will stand. Others who are less convinced, however, may never come back to that Mass…etc., etc. By the same token, a diocesan bishop could make a statement on the posture of the assembly in said situations, too, which would be an elegant way (to me) of accomodating those who are turned off by sitting during the Gloria.

      I don’t think it is very hard to see a bias against longer polyphonic or orchestral ordinary movements in the liturgical documents or in the progressive liturgical movement from the 40’s on due to the demands it makes on the ritual. It is what it is, and the support for that “treasury of sacred music” was there to placate the traditional element.

  59. Jonathan Day : @Jack Wayne – comment #16: Jack, I am trying to understand your point, but what comes across to me is, roughly, “The EF is a better setting for choral music because the liturgical action doesn’t get in the way of the music.” If that is so, why not simply hire a concert hall and dispense with the spoken prayers altogether?

    I don’t know why you have that impression.

    The EF works with the music better than the OF does because the music was written for it. In the EF, the music often covers silent prayers, and the composers wrote it with that in mind. That has nothing to do with the liturgical actions getting in the way of the music – and has more to do with it harmonizing with them.

    So I would say “The EF is a better setting for the choral music written for it because the liturgical action harmonizes with the music.”

  60. My very simple point is that there is nothing in the Latin Novus Ordo that the aesthetes and antiquarians would have missed.

    Your point may be simple, but it’s also wrong. There are, I’m sure, many reasons why this is so, but here are two:

    1. In practice, the rubrics of the novus ordo preclude the use of much of the musical patrimony of the Church. Take for instance the Missa Papae Marcelli by Palestrina. The Mass has a five minute long Kyrie. In the Tridentine rite, this is fine, the Kyrie is sung while a proportianate amount of liturgical action is taking place and, if neccesary, everyone can sit while it finishes. A five minute long Kyrie unbalances the entrance rites of the novus ordo Mass and everyone has to stand while it’s sung. Similarly the combined Sanctus and Benedictus are eight and a half minites long. This is fine in the Tridentine rite where they’re split and take place in parallel to other action. It’s unbalancing in the novus ordo where everyone has to stand and wait while the music is sung. (Not to mention the instruction that the congregation sing the Sanctus.) The Agnus Dei has the same problem.

    2. You’re wrong about the rite being just the text. The rite is a whole is itself a creative work of outstanding personalities. As the novus ordo Ceremonial of Bishops notes in its preface:

    “At the time of the preparation of [the previous] ceremonial, three men outstanding for their holiness and learning, the Venerable Cesar Baronious, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and Cardinal Silvio Antoniano, were working in the Congregation of Rites.”

    And it’s obvious to anyone who’s seen both that the old and new pontifical Masses are very different in ceremonial.

    Pointing out that the petition was either mildly deceptive or badly understood by its signatories is not the same as rubbishing any celebration of the Tridentine Mass.

    OK, but it is “rubbishing” as far as I understand the word, the signatories and the organizers of the petition. Perhaps you are the one who badly understands it?

  61. Thanks, Jonathan – thought your analysis of the letter, its history, and your questions are excellent. Will ignore Richard’s characterization of what I supposedly said which was an effort to clarify Mr. Howard’s comment.

    – Letter was written, signed, delivered (Jonathan’s analysis situates this more clearly than the *usual* mythic stories around this event)
    – Heenan has private meeting with Paul VI (it is reasonable to suppose that Heenan made the arguments about pastoral sensitivities that Richard has highlighted above; and that somewhere in that discussion the letter came up; & that Paul VI agreed with the pastoral exceptions. It is also reasonable to suggest that w/o Heenan meeting; nothing would have happened)
    – using actual documentation from Bugnini (see above), we have a summary and description of what Paul VI wanted
    ……”Heenan, Chairman of the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales, that it was permitted to the local Ordinaries of England and Wales to grant that certain groups of the faithful may on special occasions be allowed to participate in the Mass celebrated according to the rites and texts of the former Roman Missal. The Missal to be used on these occasions should be that published by the decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites (27 Jan.1965), and with the modifications in the Instructio altera (4 May 1967).” Cover letter went on to add:
    …..”this permission is granted with that prudence and reserve that the matter requires. It is also very desirable that the permission be given without too much publicity”
    – Heenan held meeting with episcopal conference to explain private audience with Paul VI and permission to conference, limitations, etc.

    Richard states that my *SC* response about collegiality or conference decide liturgical matters is an overreach (possibly, but what we do know is that Heenan took the initiative; conference implemented permission; and it is reasonable that this was based upon *pastoral* reasons by Paul VI. Would suggest:
    – my emphasis is upon Heenan’s initiative; not the letter (some of what I read and see in comments, IMO, overstates the role of the letter and as John Francis Robert clearly indicates, it is the Heenan indult; not the AC indult (popular, mythic history))
    – what, IMO, is more insightful are Paul VI’s concerns expressed to Bugnini and Heenan (sorry, Richard, but your statement about Paul VI’s motivation, sad impulse, whatever? that is a cheap shot. Unfortunately, we have no documentation about what happened between Paul and Heenan – we only have Bugnini’s records via Paul VI’s instruction/permission. Anything else is pure confecture)
    ……special permission; exception based upon perceived spiritual issues for a group of older folks who grew up with TLM
    ……that this *special permission* was not to be loudly broadcasted (Paul VI had concerns that this could be used to interfere or discredit the reformed liturgy of the council)

    Conclusions – now 40+ years later, Paul VI’s concerns appear to have been realized. Successive popes continued to expand the *special permission*; eliminating the Pauline limitations; and, in some cases now, moving beyond the *pastoral* goal to a *new type of liturgical hermeneutic) best expressed as *mutually enriching* despite episcopal conferences asking Rome not to do this. Richard mentions that expansion happened because of abuses, resistance, etc. – guessing that we have experienced abuses at either extreme. What you can posit is that Paul VI’s special permission has been footnoted & used way beyond what he pastorally desired.

  62. Hello Jordan,

    Have not the creators of the new home striven to accommodate all who come to worship?

    No, I’m afraid they haven’t.

    Certainly not when the worshipers come from certain quarters.

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #25:

      JZ: Have not the creators of the new home striven to accommodate all who come to worship?

      RM: No, I’m afraid they haven’t.

      RM: Certainly not when the worshipers come from certain quarters.

      My favorite confessor, who I have now lost touch with, was a missionary in Peru for 30 years. To my knowledge, he has never celebrated the EF. You and I have the luxury of free and relatively safe societies. Imagine being a priest during a Maoist guerilla insurgency. Did it matter what form he used to celebrate the Eucharist with a war-torn people? He gave them the the sacraments of initiation, the Bread of Life, the assurance of God’s forgiveness, and comfort to the sick and dying.

      Would you receive the Eucharist from a hastily said Ordinary Form Mass said in trying circumstances, in which maybe not all of the prayers were said exactly according to the missal? Would you spurn a Mass which is of crucial importance to the salvation of souls searching for solace in an existential crisis? I certainly would attend this Mass, and I am sure that you would be welcome at this banquet as well.

  63. Also… discussion of how these folks would feel at a Latin Novus Ordo Mass is, anywhere in the world but London and perhaps Rome practically mythical (is there a proper blessing for a Unicorn?)

    Relatedly, on Jordan vs. Richard on the welcome offered… I went a couple years ago to the Mass announced as a Latin novus ordo at the Basillica in Baltimore. Where the Creed was said in English because, as the priest announced from the sanctuary, none of us understand Latin anyways.

  64. Hello Jonathan,

    My very simple point is that there is nothing in the Latin Novus Ordo that the aesthetes and antiquarians would have missed. Serious worshippers, like Mr Marnau, took offence at (e.g.) Eucharistic Prayer II, which they believed lacked language of sacrifice. But since the prayer would have largely been silent in any case, I cannot imagine that Agatha Christie, Vladimir Ashkenazy and many of the other “well-known personalities” would have had a clue about this particular change.

    I would like to second everything Sam says above regarding the impingement upon much of our sacred music heritage (esp. long polyphonic pieces).

    But that said…a few further observations.

    1. I myself have attended regular Latin Novus Ordos on a regular basis, celebrated as reverently and traditionally as you could ask for: ad orientem (for the Canon, which is always EP1), good plainchant and polyphony, reception on the tongue, traditional vestments, no sign of peace, the works. But that was only because I was lucky enough, in the early 00’s, to live near two of the only places in North America which actually celebrated the (NO) mass in this way. And the evidence is that even these few have declined as the pastors in question shifted to the TLM once it became more readily available.

    In short: The aesthetes *would* miss it, because since 1970, finding NO masses with all the smells and bells has been more difficult than finding hen’s teeth.

    2. But that said, I think you make an excellent point about the real concerns of the LMS, which were quite different than those of most petition signers. The real concern among more traditionally-minded critics hasn’t been the aesthetics – though that is certainly a point of frustration – as it is the substance of the prayers in the NO, and how they’ve been changed. And the Eucharistic Prayers II, III and IV are cases in point, albeit far from the only ones.

    The collects and propers are greatly changed as well, as Lauren Pristas has…

  65. Hello Bruce,

    You would also know very little is the same now in said seminary as under Cdl. Burke…

    Boy, you aren’t kidding about that.

  66. Samuel J. Howard : Also… discussion of how these folks would feel at a Latin Novus Ordo Mass is, anywhere in the world but London and perhaps Rome practically mythical (is there a proper blessing for a Unicorn?) Relatedly, on Jordan vs. Richard on the welcome offered… I went a couple years ago to the Mass announced as a Latin novus ordo at the Basillica in Baltimore. Where the Creed was said in English because, as the priest announced from the sanctuary, none of us understand Latin anyways.

    Hello Sam,

    In the old (pre-SP) days, I suppose I would have been astonished and pleased that they made the effort to do *any* of it in Latin – or with traditional rubrics – at all. Especially in that archdiocese. Was it ad orientem?

    But your larger point is valid, as I said at about the same time you made your post. The NO permits many traditional elements, no question, In practice, they’ve been essentially nonexistent, at least until very recently.

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #30:
      Oh, I would have been pleased to have found all that Latin in an ordinary Sunday Mass. But to go to a Mass announced on the schedule as being a Latin novus ordo, because I wanted to support that (where, from the announcement they ordinarily did the Creed in Latin) and to have the celebrant change it to English on a whim was frustrating.

      Of course, now they don’t have a 9 o’clock Latin Mass on their schedule anymore at all, I see! Another unicorn gone.

      1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #31:
        I think they found that with the EF around the corner at St. Alphonsus there was not much audience for the Latin OF. Also, from my one experience with the Latin OF at the Basilica, it was not particularly well done, with little effort put into the music etc.

  67. Samuel, you attacked a number of assertions that I never made.

    The only issue I raised was whether the signers whom I referred to as “the aesthetes and antiquarians” — and it should have been clear by context that these were not frequent Mass-goers, not people expert in the liturgy, not even Catholics — would have been bothered by the Novus Ordo in Latin, as it is celebrated at a place like the London Oratory. And I continue to believe that they would not even have known that they were not at the Tridentine Mass.

    Evelyn Waugh wrote that, in the old Mass, “[the priest] and his apprentice stumped up to the altar with their tools and set to work without a glance to those behind them, still less with any intention to make a personal impression on them.” In this respect even Waugh would have felt right at home in a Novus Ordo Mass at the Oratory.

    I never said that the rite was no more than the text. I only said that the petition focused on the text, not the rite. As did an earlier petition from the Latin Mass Society:

    as early as November 1965 the officers of The Latin Mass Society sent an appeal to Pope Paul VI that “the discontinuance of the use of the Latin tongue in parts of the Mass has proved a grave spiritual privation and a source of great anguish of soul”. The petition also requested “that, side by side with the continued employment of the mother-tongue, the Mass may frequently and regularly be celebrated wholly in Latin”.

    I never said that the Novus Ordo in Latin was available around the world. It certainly has been in London for decades, and the petition was prepared here. As an aside, I first experienced it in Palo Alto, California, where William Mahrt led a marvellous choir singing all manner of chant and polyphony. I don’t recall whether we sat or stood, the music was too wonderful.

    I take your point about the long Kyries and Glorias and the like. At our Latin Mass (NO), the priest and congregation typically sit for these. On the other hand, I have many times been to a Russian divine liturgy where people stand for hours at a time. Why can’t we?

  68. Jordan Zarembo :

    JZ: You and I have the luxury of free and relatively safe societies. Imagine being a priest during a Maoist guerilla insurgency. Did it matter what form he used to celebrate the Eucharist with a war-torn people? He gave them the the sacraments of initiation, the Bread of Life, the assurance of God’s forgiveness, and comfort to the sick and dying. Would you receive the Eucharist from a hastily said Ordinary Form Mass said in trying circumstances, in which maybe not all of the prayers were said exactly according to the missal? Would you spurn a Mass which is of crucial importance to the salvation of souls searching for solace in an existential crisis? I certainly would attend this Mass, and I am sure that you would be welcome at this banquet as well.

    Hello Jordan,

    To answer your question first: Certainly I would, so long as it was valid. And the bar is set fairly low for validity: All you need to do is to say the words of consecration accurately and proper matter. And if that is done, I hardly need observe that Christ is every bit as present, body, blood, soul and divinity, in that hasty rough mass as it is in a full-scale solemn high mass at, well, the London Oratory.

    But with respect, I think it’s a false measuring stick to employ field masses in the Peruvian hinterlands. Mass can and has been done under all sorts of conditions through the centuries – from the Roman catacombs to recusant chapels to the Gulag – but the Church has always thought that, to the extent that it is within out power, it is worth celebrating well.

    Those aren’t the scenarios I had in mind. Your confessor sounds a lot more welcoming than some priests and liturgists I can think of in suburban parishes across our fruited plains. And it was precisely because of that lack of generosity that Pope Benedict – who really is not a TLM afficionado – issued <i?Summorum…

  69. I only said that the petition focused on the text, not the rite.

    You’re taking one small part of the petition and reading it out of context.

    The second paragraph says “rite” without language qualification:

    Now the fact is that basilicas and cathedrals were built so as to celebrate a rite which, until a few months ago, constituted a living tradition. We are referring to the Roman Catholic Mass. Yet, according to the latest information in Rome, there is a plan to obliterate that Mass by the end of the current year.

    No reference to language. The final paragraph also has no reference to language.

    The signatories of this appeal, which is entirely ecumenical and nonpolitical, have been drawn from every branch of modern culture in Europe and elsewhere. They wish to call to the attention of the Holy See, the appalling responsibility it would incur in the history of the human spirit were it to refuse to allow the Traditional Mass to survive, even though this survival took place side by side with other liturgical forms.

    You can hypothesize about whether some signers (ignoring the fact that the list does include many Catholics and people educated about the liturgy) would have been satisisfied with the Latin Novus Ordo, but that wasn’t the question.

    Historically, it makes no sense for the petition to be about Latin. By the time the petition was written in 1971, the Association for Latin Liturgy already had official recognition by the Bishops of England and Wales.

  70. I know this is an old thread, but apropos the original question, I wanted to report that we’ve now completed a year of First Saturday extraordinary form Masses at St. Thomas the Apostle in Corcoran, Mn., and it continues to flourish. We’ve consistently had upwards of 60 people at this Mass, almost all from the parish or neighboring area. It’s a Missa cantata (sung Mass).

    The people sing the responses and the Mass ordinary (with gusto). Our schola sings the propers. There are also two or more supplemental hymns, in English or Latin (Latin during the offertory), that the people people sing, during the entrance procession, offertory, or after the Last Gospel. All a capella.

    Most of the people who attend this Mass had never experienced the extraordinary form Mass before or only knew it as a distant memory.

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